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english Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun an Indo-European language belonging to the West Germanic branch; the official language of Britain and the United States and most of the commonwealth countries
    English language.
  2. noun the people of England
    English people.
  3. noun the discipline that studies the English language and literature
  4. noun (sports) the spin given to a ball by striking it on one side or releasing it with a sharp twist
  5. adjective of or relating to or characteristic of England or its culture or people
    • English history
    • the English landed aristocracy
    • English literature
  6. adjective of or relating to the English language

Eng"lish adjective
AS. Englisc, fr. Engle, Angle, Engles, Angles, a tribe of Germans from the southeast of Sleswick, in Denmark, who settled in Britain and gave it the name of England. Cf. Anglican.
  1. Of or pertaining to England, or to its inhabitants, or to the present so-called Anglo-Saxon race.
Eng"lish noun
  1. Collectively, the people of England; English people or persons.
  2. The language of England or of the English nation, and of their descendants in America, India, and other countries. ✍ The English language has been variously divided into periods by different writers. In the division most commonly recognized, the first period dates from about 450 to 1150. This is the period of full inflection, and is called Anglo-Saxon, or, by many recent writers, Old English. The second period dates from about 1150 to 1550 (or, if four periods be recognized, from about 1150 to 1350), and is called Early English, Middle English, or more commonly (as in the usage of this book), Old English. During this period most of the inflections were dropped, and there was a great addition of French words to the language. The third period extends from about 1350 to 1550, and is Middle English. During this period orthography became comparatively fixed. The last period, from about 1550, is called Modern English.
  3. A kind of printing type, in size between Pica and Great Primer. See Type. The type called English.
  4. (Billiards) A twist or spinning motion given to a ball in striking it that influences the direction it will take after touching a cushion or another ball.
Eng"lish transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Englished ; present participle & verbal noun Englishing
  1. To translate into the English language; to Anglicize; hence, to interpret; to explain.
    Those gracious acts . . . may be Englished more properly, acts of fear and dissimulation. Milton.
    Caxton does not care to alter the French forms and words in the book which he was Englishing. T. L. K. Oliphant.
  2. (Billiards) To strike (the cue ball) in such a manner as to give it in addition to its forward motion a spinning motion, that influences its direction after impact on another ball or the cushion. U.S.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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