[ver-nak-yuh-ler, vuh-nak-]
  1. (of language) native or indigenous (opposed to literary or learned).
  2. expressed or written in the native language of a place, as literary works: a vernacular poem.
  3. using such a language: a vernacular speaker.
  4. of or relating to such a language.
  5. using plain, everyday, ordinary language.
  6. of, relating to, or characteristic of architectural vernacular.
  7. noting or pertaining to the common name for a plant or animal.
  8. Obsolete. (of a disease) endemic.
  1. the native speech or language of a place.
  2. the language or vocabulary peculiar to a class or profession.
  3. a vernacular word or expression.
  4. the plain variety of language in everyday use by ordinary people.
  5. the common name of an animal or plant as distinguished from its Latin scientific name.
  6. a style of architecture exemplifying the commonest techniques, decorative features, and materials of a particular historical period, region, or group of people.
  7. any medium or mode of expression that reflects popular taste or indigenous styles.

Origin of vernacular

1595–1605; < Latin vernācul(us) household, domestic, native (apparently adj. use of vernāculus, diminutive of verna slave born in the master's household, though derivation unclear) + -ar1
Related formsver·nac·u·lar·ly, adverbnon·ver·nac·u·lar, adjective

Synonyms for vernacular

9, 10. See language. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for non-vernacular


  1. the vernacular the commonly spoken language or dialect of a particular people or place
  2. a local style of architecture, in which ordinary houses are builtthis architect has re-created a true English vernacular
  1. relating to, using, or in the vernacular
  2. designating or relating to the common name of an animal or plant
  3. built in the local style of ordinary houses, rather than a grand architectural style
Derived Formsvernacularly, adverb

Word Origin for vernacular

C17: from Latin vernāculus belonging to a household slave, from verna household slave
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 non-vernacular



c.1600, "native to a country," from Latin vernaculus "domestic, native," from verna "home-born slave, native," a word of Etruscan origin. Used in English in the sense of Latin vernacula vocabula, in reference to language.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper