lingua franca

[ frang-kuh ]
/ ˈfræŋ kə /

noun, plural lingua francas, lin·guae fran·cae [ling-gwee fran-see] /ˈlɪŋ gwi ˈfræn si/.

any language that is widely used as a means of communication among speakers of other languages.
(initial capital letter) the Italian-Provençal jargon (with elements of Spanish, French, Greek, Arabic, and Turkish) formerly widely used in eastern Mediterranean ports.

Origin of lingua franca

1670–80; < Italian: literally, Frankish tongue Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lingua franca

British Dictionary definitions for lingua franca (1 of 2)

Lingua Franca


a particular lingua franca spoken from the time of the Crusades to the 18th century in the ports of the Mediterranean, based on Italian, Spanish, French, Arabic, Greek, and Turkish

British Dictionary definitions for lingua franca (2 of 2)

lingua franca

/ (ˈlɪŋɡwə ˈfræŋkə) /

noun plural lingua francas or linguae francae (ˈlɪŋɡwiː ˈfrænsiː)

a language used for communication among people of different mother tongues
a hybrid language containing elements from several different languages used in this way
any system of communication providing mutual understanding

Word Origin for lingua franca

C17: Italian, literally: Frankish tongue
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