from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A language that uses a system of manual, facial, and other body movements as the means of communication, especially among deaf people.
  • noun A method of communication, as between speakers of different languages, that uses hand movements and other gestures.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun countable One of several natural languages, typically used by the deaf, where the words and phrases consist of hand shapes, motions, positions, and facial expressions.
  • noun uncountable The sign language (sense 1) that is used locally or that is mistakenly believed to be the only one.
  • noun uncountable Sign languages (sense 1) considered collectively.
  • noun countable or uncountable Communication through gestures used when speech is impossible, for example, between monks under a vow of silence or people speaking different languages.

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

  • noun language expressed by visible hand gestures


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  • Online ASL dictionary. I find the animations hard to follow but it's something.

    September 13, 2009

  • You might like this one better, bilby.

    Is ASL used in Australia? I'd thought Australians used a two-handed alphabet similar to that of Britain.

    September 14, 2009

  • We use Auslan. You're right, it's more closely related to British than anything else.

    September 14, 2009