Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: LANGUAGES

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: langue 'tongue, language', from Latin lingua

language

noun
     
lan‧guage S2 W1
1

English/French/Arabic etc

[uncountable and countable] a system of communication by written or spoken words, which is used by the people of a particular country or areaCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
speak a language master a language (=succeed in learning a language) language teacher/student/learner foreign language somebody's first language/native language (=the first language someone learned) somebody's second language somebody's command of a language (=someone's ability to speak a language) the language barrier (=the problem of communicating with people who speak a different language) the English/Japanese/German etc language the official language modern languages (=languages that are still spoken) dead language (=a language that is no longer spoken)
How many languages do you speak?
It took him several years to master the language.
common problems for foreign language learners
a book intended for language teachers
Andrea's native language is German.
For the majority of Tanzanians, Swahili is their second language.
She had lived in Italy for years, and her command of the language was excellent.
I didn't speak much Japanese, and I was worried that the language barrier might be a problem.
one of the best known poems in the English language
The official language of Ghana is English.
a dead language such as Latin
2

communication

[uncountable] the use of written or spoken words to communicate:
the origins of language
3

style/type of words

[uncountable]
a) the words and style of writing used in poetry or writing:
literary language
poetic language
b) the words used in a particular activity or job
language of
the language of science
4TD

computers

[uncountable and countable] technicalTD a system of instructions for operating a computer:
5

swearing

[uncountable] informal words that most people think are offensive
mind/watch your language spoken (=stop swearing)
6

strong language

a) angry words used to tell people exactly what you mean
b) words that most people think are offensive [= swearing]
7

sounds/signs/actions

[uncountable and countable] signs, movements, or sounds that express ideas or feelings
language of
the language of bees
the language of dolphins
body language, sign language

➔ speak the same language

at speak (11)
WORD FOCUS: language WORD FOCUS: language
dialect the form of a language that is spoken in a particular area
slang
informal words used by people who belong to a particular group, for example young people, criminals etc
jargon
words used by people who do a particular job or are interested in a particular subject, which ordinary people cannot easily understand
terminology
words used in a particular subject such as science or medicine
journalese
language often used in newspapers
legalese
disapproving language used by lawyers or in legal documents, which is difficult for ordinary people to understand
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The LANGUAGES
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