Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A social or regional variety of speech having a sociolinguistic or functional identity within a speech community.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A specific form of a language or language cluster: a language or a dialect. The term is used when it is not possible or preferable to decide whether something is a distinct language or only a dialect of a language.

Etymologies

From (dia)lect.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the second part of words like dialect, idiolect, and sociolect. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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