lan·guage /ˈlæŋgwɪʤ, wɪʤ/
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.
Note: ☞ 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.
Language master, a teacher of languages. [Obs.]
Syn: -- Speech; tongue; idiom; dialect; phraseology; diction; discourse; conversation; talk.
Usage: -- 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 term for language, esp. for spoken language; as, the English tongue. Idiom denotes the forms of construction peculiar to a particular language; dialects are varieties of expression which spring up in different parts of a country among people speaking substantially the same language.
Lan·guage, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Languaged p. pr. & vb. n. Languaging ] To communicate by language; to express in language.
Others were languaged in such doubtful expressions that they have a double sense. --Fuller.
n 1: a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or
conventional symbols; "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" [syn: linguistic
2: (language) communication by word of mouth; "his speech was
garbled"; "he uttered harsh language"; "he recorded the
spoken language of the streets" [syn: speech, speech
communication, spoken communication, spoken language,
voice communication, oral communication]
3: a system of words used in a particular discipline; "legal
terminology"; "the language of sociology" [syn: terminology,
4: the cognitive processes involved in producing and
understanding linguistic communication; "he didn't have
the language to express his feelings" [syn: linguistic
5: the mental faculty or power of vocal communication;
"language sets homo sapiens apart from all other animals"
6: the text of a popular song or musical-comedy number; "his
compositions always started with the lyrics"; "he wrote
both words and music"; "the song uses colloquial language"
[syn: lyric, words]