from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of the vernacular and literary Indic languages recorded from the third century B.C. to the fourth century A.D., as opposed to Sanskrit.
- n. Any of the modern Indic languages.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. any of Middle Indo-Aryan languages, derived from dialects of Old Indo-Aryan languages
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any one of the popular dialects descended from, or akin to, Sanskrit; -- in distinction from the Sanskrit, which was used as a literary and learned language when no longer spoken by the people. Pali is one of the Prakrit dialects.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The collective name of those dialects which succeed the Sanskrit in the historical development of the language of India.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any of the modern Indic languages
- n. any of the vernacular Indic languages of north and central India (as distinguished from Sanskrit) recorded from the 3rd century BC to the 4th century AD
Besides many pious foundations, he engraved on rocks and pillars throughout his empire in true Achaemenid-style edicts in vernacular Prakrit exhorting respect for animal life, reverence, and truth, and appointed censors to enforce these injunctions.
And what Kamat calls "Prakrit" actually subsumes various Indo-Aryan languages all over the subcontinent, many of which must have been, by the time of Christ, less mutually intelligible with each other than Tamil was from Kannada at that time.
Mahâsanghikas in a kind of Prakrit not further specified and the
Roma langwaj habs menny menny werds in kommun wif teh anshint Indien langwaj Prakrit.
Hitopadesa (chapt. i.) transferred to all the Prakrit versions of
(“Friendship-boon”) of Prakrit, avowedly compiled from the “Panchatantra,” became the Hindu Panchopakhyan, the
The council also oversaw the translation, from Prakrit into Sanskrit, of the Sarvastivada version of The Three Basket-like Collections and the writing down of these Sanskrit texts.
Buddha taught in the Prakrit (Tha-mal-pa) dialect of Magadha (Yul Ma-ga-dha), but nothing was written down during his lifetime.
In other words, when monks in China set out to accomplish a translation from Sanskrit or Prakrit into Chinese, it wasn't the work of a single person who could read both; rather, they would bring together people who could read Indian languages and people who could write Chinese, together with whatever chain of spoken translators was required to link them.
Etymology: Hindi & Marathi mãgus, from Prakrit mamgusa