Dialect Definition

The sum total of local characteristics of speech.
Webster's New World
A variety of language that with other varieties constitutes a single language of which no single variety is standard.
The dialects of Ancient Greek.
American Heritage
The sum total of an individual's characteristics of speech; idiolect.
Webster's New World
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.
Webster's New World
Any form of speech considered as deviating from a real or imaginary standard speech.
Webster's New World
Of or in a dialect.
Dialect ballads.
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Dialect



Origin of Dialect

  • 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”).

    From Wiktionary

  • 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 dia– legesthai middle voice of legein to speak leg- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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