Definitions

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

  • n. A tongue or tonguelike organ.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tongue.
  • n. A median process of the labium, at the underside of the mouth in insects, and serving as a tongue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tongue.
  • n. A median process of the labium, at the under side of the mouth in insects, and serving as a tongue.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The tongue; a tongue.
  • n. A language.
  • n. Hence— Any hybrid tongue used similarly in other parts of the world; an international dialect.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a mobile mass of muscular tissue covered with mucous membrane and located in the oral cavity

Etymologies

Latin, tongue, language; see dn̥ghū- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin, the tongue. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Italian medieval poet Dante was the first to have recorded the term lingua d'oc.

    When "yes" and "no" become complex

  • Hoc cognoscentes, ponebant custodiam ori suo, ut non delinquerent in lingua sua; ideoque concaluit cor earum intra eas, et 'in meditacione earum exarsit ignis (Ps. XXXVIII, 4) ille Dominus Deus noster, consumens omnem rubiginem uiciorum.

    Sensual Encounters: Monastic Women and Spirituality in Medieval Germany

  • If you do have bad breath and you believe the culprit is a dark or hairy tongue, you could have condition known as lingua villosa nigra.

    Dr. Harold Katz: Bad Breath and Your Tongue

  • While he leans decidedly toward the descriptivist camp, he believes experts ought to acknowledge the public's need for guidance on how to speak and write standard English -- that is, the lingua franca of official, public and commercial life in the English-speaking world.

    Salon

  • Whatever audience they target, they speak a lingua franca of anti-white, anti-Semitic, anti-American hatred racists such as al-Mansour constitute a significant proportion of these hate mongers?

    Winds Of Jihad By SheikYerMami

  • Whatever audience they target, they speak a lingua franca of anti-white, anti-Semitic, anti-American hatred-all in the name of Allah.

    Pat Dollard | Young Americans

  • It's like they think of themselves as some type of Lingua police, "lingua" of course from the ancient Celtic, meaning language.

    Reaction to my management style

  • The automotive cig lighter has become a kind of lingua-franca for chargers of all descriptions -- this CNN piece calls it "the new cup-holder."

    Boing Boing: November 2, 2003 - November 8, 2003 Archives

  • On the other hand, the Italian "lingua" is often referring to foreign languages, as in the expression "è uno che sa le lingue", referring to somebody that knows some foreign language: The sentence could actually read "the common ignorance of any foreign language".

    languagehat.com: MISCONOSCENZA.

  • But it seems to me that di Lampedusa is merely using the "lingua"/"dialetto" distinction as it's generally drawn in Italy.

    languagehat.com: MISCONOSCENZA.

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