[ es-puh-rahn-toh, -ran- ]
/ ˌɛs pəˈrɑn toʊ, -ˈræn- /


an artificial language invented in 1887 by L. L. Zamenhof (1859–1917), a Polish physician and philologist, and intended for international use. It is based on word roots common to the major European languages.

Origin of Esperanto

1890–95; orig. pseudonym of inventor; literally, the hoping one. See esperance
Related formsEs·pe·ran·tism, nounEs·pe·ran·tist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for esperanto

British Dictionary definitions for esperanto


/ (ˌɛspəˈræntəʊ) /


an international artificial language based on words common to the chief European languages, invented in 1887
Derived FormsEsperantist, noun, adjective

Word Origin for Esperanto

C19: literally: the one who hopes, pseudonym of Dr. L. L. Zamenhof, who invented it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for esperanto



1892, from Doktoro Esperanto, whose name means in Esperanto, "one who hopes," pen name used on the title page of a book about the artificial would-be universal language published 1887 by its inventor, Lazarus Ludwig Zamenhof (1859-1917). Cf. Spanish esperanza "hope," from esperar, from Latin sperare (see speed (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper