Dictionary.com

Old English

Save This Word!

noun
Also called Anglo-Saxon. the English language of a.d. c450–c1150. Abbreviations: OE, O.E.
Printing. a style of black letter.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of Old English

First recorded in 1845–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use Old English in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Old English

Old English

noun
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
printing a Gothic typeface commonly used in England up until the 18th century
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

Cultural definitions for Old English

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.

notes for Old English

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.
FEEDBACK