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Old English

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noun
  1. Also called Anglo-Saxon. the English language of a.d. c450–c1150. Abbreviation: OE
  2. Printing. a style of black letter.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for old english

Historical Examples

  • The man who first said that it had had simply not learned his Old-English grammar.

    The Growth of the English Constitution

    Edward A. Freeman

  • The want of an introduction to the study of Old-English has long been felt.

  • The local legislation of the mark appears in the tunscipesmot,--a word which is simply Old-English for "town-meeting."

  • At this time of day I suppose it is hardly necessary to prove the elective character of Old-English kingship.

  • I went on the principle of altering the Old-English text no more than was actually necessary to make it intelligible.


British Dictionary definitions for old english

Old English

noun
  1. Also called: Anglo-Saxon the English language from the time of the earliest settlements in the fifth century ad to about 1100. The main dialects were West Saxon (the chief literary form), Kentish, and AnglianAbbreviation: OE Compare Middle English, Modern English
  2. printing a Gothic typeface commonly used in England up until the 18th century
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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

old english in Culture

Old English

The English language from the fifth century until about 1150. In the fifth century, the Angles and Saxons of Germany settled in Britain and established their language in the southern part of the island — the region that was called “Angle-land,” or “England.” After 1150, the Norman French language introduced after the Norman Conquest influenced Old English, and Middle English developed.

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Note

Old English resembles the language spoken in Germany in the same period and is impossible for a present-day user of English to read without training. Beowulf is written in Old English.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.