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Webster 1913 Edition


Dialect

Di′a-lect

,
Noun.
[F.
dialecte
, L.
dialectus
, fr. Gr. [GREEK], fr. [GREEK] to converse, discourse. See
Dialogue
.]
1.
Means or mode of expressing thoughts; language; tongue; form of speech.
This book is writ in such a
dialect

As may the minds of listless men affect.
Bunyan
.
The universal
dialect
of the world.
South.
2.
The form of speech of a limited region or people, as distinguished from ether forms nearly related to it; a variety or subdivision of a language; speech characterized by local peculiarities or specific circumstances;
as, the Ionic and Attic were
dialects
of Greece; the Yorkshire
dialect
; the
dialect
of the learned.
In the midst of this Babel of
dialects
there suddenly appeared a standard English language.
Earle.
Syn. – Language; idiom; tongue; speech; phraseology. See
Language
, and
Idiom
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Dialect

DIALECT

,
Noun.
[Gr.]
1.
The form or idiom of a language, peculiar to a province, or to a kingdom or state; consisting chiefly in differences of orthography or pronunciation. The Greek language is remarkable for four dialects, the Attic, Iionic, Doric and Eolic. A dialect is the branch of a parent language, with such local alterations as time, accident and revolutions may have introduced among descendants of the same stock or family, living in separate or remote situations. But in regard to a large portion of words, many languages, which are considered as distinct, are really dialects of one common language.
2.
Language; speech, or manner of speaking.

Definition 2021


dialect

dialect

English

Noun

dialect (plural dialects)

  1. (linguistics) A variety of a language (specifically, often a spoken variety) that is characteristic of a particular area, community or group, often with relatively minor differences in vocabulary, style, spelling and pronunciation.
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 139:
      And in addition, many dialects of English make no morphological distinction between Adjectives and Adverbs, and thus use Adjectives in contexts where the standard language requires -ly Adverbs: compare
      (81) (a)      Tex talks really quickly [Adverb + Adverb]
              (b)   %Tex talks real quick [Adjective + Adjective]
  2. A dialect of a language perceived as substandard or wrong.
    • 1967, Roger W. Shuy, Discovering American dialects, National Council of Teachers of English, page 1:
      Many even deny it and say something like this: "No, we don't speak a dialect around here.
    • 1975, H. Carl, Linguistic perspectives on black English, page 219:
      Well, those children don't speak dialect, not in this school. Maybe in the public schools, but not here.
    • 1994, H. Nigel Thomas, Spirits in the dark, Heinemann, page 11:
      [] on the second day, Miss Anderson gave the school a lecture on why it was wrong to speak dialect. She had ended by saying "Respectable people don't speak dialect."
  3. A regional or minority language.
  4. (computing, programming) A variant of a non-standardized programming language.
    Home computers in the 1980s had many incompatible dialects of BASIC.

Usage notes

  • The difference between a language and a dialect is not always clear, but it is generally considered that people who speak different dialects can understand each other, while people who speak different languages cannot. Compare species in the biological sense.

Derived terms

Related terms

See also

Translations

Anagrams


Dutch

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˌdijaːˈlɛkt/
  • Hyphenation: di‧a‧lect

Etymology

From Middle French dialecte, from Latin dialectos, dialectus, from Ancient Greek διάλεκτος (diálektos, conversation, the language of a country or a place or a nation, the local idiom which derives from a dominant language), from διαλέγομαι (dialégomai, I participate in a dialogue), from διά (diá, inter, through) + λέγω (légō, I speak).

Noun

dialect n (plural dialecten, diminutive dialectje n)

  1. dialect
  2. slang

Synonyms

Anagrams


Romanian

Etymology

From French dialecte.

Noun

dialect n (plural dialecte)

  1. (linguistics) language socially subordinate to a regional or national standard language, often historically cognate to the standard, but not a variety of it or in any other sense derived from it
  2. (colloquial) dialect

See also