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mother tongue

[muhth-er tuhng for 1; muhth-er tuhng for 2]
See more synonyms for mother tongue on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the language first learned by a person; native language.
  2. mother language.
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Origin of mother tongue

1350–1400; Middle English moder tonge
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mother tongue

vernacular

Examples from the Web for mother tongue

Historical Examples of mother tongue

  • It was too late; in the brisk idiom of his mother-tongue, he was "caught with the goods on."

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • It was to him a marvel that these people's mother-tongue was Slav.

  • The best native servants are those who can only speak their mother-tongue.

  • The truth is that everyone is entered according to his mother-tongue.

  • She could already speak French and Italian as fluently as her mother-tongue.


British Dictionary definitions for mother tongue

mother tongue

noun
  1. the language first learned by a child
  2. a language from which another has evolved
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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