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language Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols
    linguistic communication.
    • he taught foreign languages
    • the language introduced is standard throughout the text
    • the speed with which a program can be executed depends on the language in which it is written
  2. noun (language) communication by word of mouth
    oral communication; spoken language; voice communication; speech communication; speech; spoken communication.
    • his speech was garbled
    • he uttered harsh language
    • he recorded the spoken language of the streets
  3. noun the text of a popular song or musical-comedy number
    lyric; words.
    • his compositions always started with the lyrics
    • he wrote both words and music
    • the song uses colloquial language
  4. noun the cognitive processes involved in producing and understanding linguistic communication
    linguistic process.
    • he didn't have the language to express his feelings
  5. noun the mental faculty or power of vocal communication
    • language sets homo sapiens apart from all other animals
  6. noun a system of words used to name things in a particular discipline
    nomenclature; terminology.
    • legal terminology
    • biological nomenclature
    • the language of sociology

Lan"guage noun
OE. langage, F. langage, fr. L. lingua the tongue, hence speech, language; akin to E. tongue. See Tongue, cf. Lingual.
  1. Any means of conveying or communicating ideas; specifically, human speech; the expression of ideas by the voice; sounds, expressive of thought, articulated by the organs of the throat and mouth. Language consists in the oral utterance of sounds which usage has made the representatives of ideas. When two or more persons customarily annex the same sounds to the same ideas, the expression of these sounds by one person communicates his ideas to another. This is the primary sense of language, the use of which is to communicate the thoughts of one person to another through the organs of hearing. Articulate sounds are represented to the eye by letters, marks, or characters, which form words.
  2. The expression of ideas by writing, or any other instrumentality.
  3. The forms of speech, or the methods of expressing ideas, peculiar to a particular nation.
  4. The characteristic mode of arranging words, peculiar to an individual speaker or writer; manner of expression; style.
    Others for language all their care express. Pope.
  5. The inarticulate sounds by which animals inferior to man express their feelings or their wants.
  6. The suggestion, by objects, actions, or conditions, of ideas associated therewith; as, the language of flowers.
    There was . . . language in their very gesture. Shak.
  7. The vocabulary and phraseology belonging to an art or department of knowledge; as, medical language; the language of chemistry or theology.
  8. A race, as distinguished by its speech. R.
    All the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshiped the golden image. Dan. iii. 7.
    Syn. -- Speech; tongue; idiom; dialect; phraseology; diction; discourse; conversation; talk. -- Language, Speech, Tongue, Idiom, Dialect. Language is generic, denoting, in its most extended use, any mode of conveying ideas; speech is the language of articulate sounds; tongue is the Anglo-Saxon tern for language, esp. for spoken language; as, the English tongue. Idiom denotes the forms of construction peculiar to a particular language; dialects are varieties if expression which spring up in different parts of a country among people speaking substantially the same language.
Lan"guage transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Languaged ; present participle & verbal noun Languaging
  1. To communicate by language; to express in language.
    Others were languaged in such doubtful expressions that they have a double sense. Fuller.

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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