An example of dialect is Cantonese to the Chinese language.
- 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 of dialectClassical Latin dialectus ; from Classical Greek dialektos, discourse, discussion, dialect ; from dialegesthai, to discourse, talk ; from dia, between (see dia-) + legein, to choose, talk (see logic)
- 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 of dialectFrench 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.
- (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.
- A dialect of a language perceived as substandard and wrong.
- A regional or minority language.
- 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.
From Middle French dialecte, from Latin dialectos, dialectus, from Ancient Greek διάλεκτος (dialektos, “conversation, the language of a country or a place or a nation, the local idiom which derives from a dominant language”), from διαλέγομαι (dialegomai, “I participate in a dialogue”), from διά (dia, “inter, through”) + λέγω (legō, “I speak”).