- The definition of a dialect is a variety of a language which has different pronunciation, grammar or vocabulary than the standard language of the culture.
An example of dialect is Cantonese to the Chinese language.
dialect definition by Webster's New World
- the sum total of local characteristics of speech
- Rare the sum total of an individual's characteristics of speech; idiolect
- popularly any form of speech considered as deviating from a real or imaginary standard speech
- a form or variety of a spoken language, including the standard form, peculiar to a region, community, social group, occupational group, etc.: in this sense, dialects are regarded as being, to some degree, mutually intelligible while languages are not mutually intelligible
- any language as a member of a group or family of languages: English is a West Germanic dialect
Origin: Classical Latin dialectus ; from Classical Greek dialektos, discourse, discussion, dialect ; from dialegesthai, to discourse, talk ; from dia, between (see dia-) plush legein, to choose, talk (see logic)
dialect definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary, especially a variety of speech differing from the standard literary language or speech pattern of the culture in which it exists: Cockney is a dialect of English.b. A variety of language that with other varieties constitutes a single language of which no single variety is standard: the dialects of Ancient Greek.
- The language peculiar to the members of a group, especially in an occupation; jargon: the dialect of science.
- The manner or style of expressing oneself in language or the arts.
- A language considered as part of a larger family of languages or a linguistic branch. Not in scientific use: Spanish and French are Romance dialects.
Origin: French dialecte, from Old French, from Latin dialectus, form of speech, from Greek dialektos, speech, from dialegesthai, to discourse, use a dialect : dia-, between, over; see dia- + legesthai, middle voice of legein, to speak; see leg- in Indo-European roots.
- diˌa·lecˈtal adjective
- diˌa·lecˈtal·ly adverb