Student Dictionary

11 entries found for language. The first 10 are listed below.
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Main Entry: lan·guage
Pronunciation: primarystresslaeng-gwij
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English language "language," from early French language (same meaning), from langue "language, tongue," from Latin lingua "tongue, language"
1 a : the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a large group of people b : a means of comunicating ideas <sign language>
2 : the means by which animals communicate or are thought to communicate with each other <language of the bees>
3 : a system of signs and symbols and rules for using them that is used to carry information <BASIC is a computer language>
4 : the way in which words are used <strong language>
5 : the words and expressions of a particular group or field <the language of medicine>
6 : the study of language
Word History The tongue plays an important part in human speech. Different sounds are made by different positions of the tongue. The tongue and speech are so closely connected that in many languages the word that means "tongue" also means "language." This is true in English, as when we say "she spoke a foreign tongue." It was also true in Latin, where the word lingua meant both "tongue" and "language." From the Latin lingua came the early French langue, meaning "tongue, language," which gave rise to the early French word language. The English word language comes directly from this early French word.

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