from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols.
- n. Such a system including its rules for combining its components, such as words.
- n. Such a system as used by a nation, people, or other distinct community; often contrasted with dialect.
- n. A system of signs, symbols, gestures, or rules used in communicating: the language of algebra.
- n. Computer Science A system of symbols and rules used for communication with or between computers.
- n. Body language; kinesics.
- n. The special vocabulary and usages of a scientific, professional, or other group: "his total mastery of screen language—camera placement, editing—and his handling of actors” ( Jack Kroll).
- n. A characteristic style of speech or writing: Shakespearean language.
- n. A particular manner of expression: profane language; persuasive language.
- n. The manner or means of communication between living creatures other than humans: the language of dolphins.
- n. Verbal communication as a subject of study.
- n. The wording of a legal document or statute as distinct from the spirit.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A form of communication using words either spoken or gestured with the hands and structured with grammar, often with a writing system.
- n. The ability to communicate using words.
- n. Nonverbal communication.
- n. A computer language.
- n. The vocabulary and usage used in a particular specialist field.
- n. The particular words used in speech or a passage of text.
- n. Profanity.
- n. Words, written or spoken, in a specific sequence that a person uses to describe, to a another person, the type of thoughts in their mind.
- v. To communicate by language; to express in language.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any means of conveying or communicating ideas
- n. The expression of ideas by writing, or any other instrumentality.
- n. The forms of speech, or the methods of expressing ideas, peculiar to a particular nation.
- n. The characteristic mode of arranging words, peculiar to an individual speaker or writer; manner of expression; style.
- n. The inarticulate sounds by which animals inferior to man express their feelings or their wants.
- n. The suggestion, by objects, actions, or conditions, of ideas associated therewith.
- n. The vocabulary and phraseology belonging to an art or department of knowledge
- n. A race, as distinguished by its speech.
- n. Any system of symbols created for the purpose of communicating ideas, emotions, commands, etc., between sentient agents.
- n. Any set of symbols and the rules for combining them which are used to specify to a computer the actions that it is to take; also referred to as a computer lanugage or programming language.
- transitive v. To communicate by language; to express in language.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The whole body of uttered signs employed and understood by a given community as expression of its thoughts; the aggregate of words, and of methods of their combination into sentences, used in a community for communication and record and for carrying on the processes of thought: as, the English language; the Greek language.
- n. Power of expression by utterance; the capacities and impulses that lead to the production and use of languages; uttered expression; human speech considered as a whole: as, language is the peculiar possession of man.
- n. The words or expressions appropriate to or especially employed in any branch of knowledge or particular condition of life: as, the language of chemistry; the language of common life.
- n. The manner of expression, either by speech or writing; style.
- n. Hence The inarticulate sounds by which irrational animals express their feelings and wants: as, the language of birds.
- n. The expression of thought in any way, articulate or inarticulate, conventional or unconventional: as, the language of signs; the language of the eyes; the language of flowers.
- n. A people or race, as distinguished by its speech; a tribe.
- n. Now the Coptic is no more a living language, nor is it understood by any, except that some of the priests understand a little of their liturgy, tho' many of them cannot so much as read it, but get their long offices by rote.
- n. Synonyms Language, Dialect, Idiom, Diction, Vocabulary; tongue. The first five words are arranged in a descending scale. In common use it is taken for granted that the dialects under one language are enough alike to be reasonably well understood by all who are of that language, while different languages are so unlike that special study is needed to enable one to understand a language that is not his own; but this is not an essential difference. Idiom, literally a personal peculiarity, is in this connection a form of a language somewhat less marked than a dialect: as, the New England idiom. Diction is often used for the set of words or vocabulary belonging to a person or class, making him or it differ in speech from others; but both this and idiom are often expressed by dialect. (See diction.) Vocabulary means the total of the words used by a person, class, etc., considered as a list or number of different words: as, he has a large vocabulary. In this respect it differs from another meaning of idiom—that is, any peculiar combination of words used by a person, community, nation, etc.
- To express in language.
- n. In organ-building, the horizontal shelf or partition of wood or metal opposite and below the mouth of a flue-pipe, by which the wind is obliged to pass through a narrow slit between it and the lower lip and to impinge upon the edge of the upper lip. The front edge of the language is usually serrated. See pipe. Also called languid.
- n. Same as languet .
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols
- n. the text of a popular song or musical-comedy number
- n. the cognitive processes involved in producing and understanding linguistic communication
- n. the mental faculty or power of vocal communication
- n. a system of words used to name things in a particular discipline
- n. (language) communication by word of mouth
Middle English, from Old French langage, from langue, tongue, language, from Latin lingua; see dn̥ghū- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English language, from Old French language, from Vulgar Latin *linguāticum, from Latin lingua ("tongue, speech, language"), from Old Latin *dingua (“tongue”), from Proto-Indo-European *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s (“tongue, speech, language”). Displaced native Middle English rearde, ȝerearde ("language") (from Old English reord ("language, speech")), Middle English londspreche, londspeche ("language") (from Old English *landsprǣċ (“language, national tongue”), Old English þēod and þēodisc ("language"). (Wiktionary)