[ slang ]
See synonyms for slang on
  1. very informal usage in vocabulary and idiom that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, elliptical, vivid, and ephemeral than ordinary language, as Hit the road.

  2. (in English and some other languages) speech and writing characterized by the use of vulgar and socially taboo vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.

  1. the jargon of a particular class, profession, etc.

  2. the special vocabulary of thieves, vagabonds, etc.; argot.

verb (used without object)
  1. to use slang or abusive language.

verb (used with object)
  1. to assail with abusive language.

Origin of slang

First recorded in 1750–60; origin uncertain

usage note For slang

See informal.

Other words for slang

Words that may be confused with slang

Words Nearby slang

Other definitions for slang (2 of 2)

[ slang ]

  1. simple past tense of sling1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use slang in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for slang


/ (slæŋ) /

    • vocabulary, idiom, etc, that is not appropriate to the standard form of a language or to formal contexts, may be restricted as to social status or distribution, and is characteristically more metaphorical and transitory than standard language

    • (as modifier): a slang word

  1. another word for jargon 1

  1. to abuse (someone) with vituperative language; insult

Origin of slang

C18: of unknown origin

Derived forms of slang

  • slangy, adjective
  • slangily, adverb
  • slanginess, noun

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 slang


Expressions that do not belong to standard written English. For example, “flipping out” is slang for “losing one's mind” or “losing one's temper.” Slang expressions are usually inappropriate in formal speech or writing. (See jargon.)

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.