The means by which human beings communicate using words, as in "Children acquire language at different rates. Some speak much earlier than others". Language can refer either to spoken or written communication. It can also refer to the variety of communication used by a particular nation or state, as in "He visits France regularly but makes no attempt to understand the French language", "He won't start to learn a foreign language until he goes to secondary school" and "People in other parts of Europe tend to speak more languages than the British". The language that a person speaks from birth is known as his/her "first language" or "mother tongue". He/she is said to be a native speaker of this language.
Language can also be used to refer to the style and vocabulary of a piece of writing, as in "The language of his novels is very poetic".
Language can also apply to the particular style and variety of language that is used in a particular profession or among a particular group of people with some common interest, as in "legal language", "scientific language", "technical language", etc. Such technical or specialist language is sometimes referred to rather pejoratively as JARGON or as "legalese", "medicalese", "computerese", etc.
A person's own style of language with regard to vocabulary, structure, etc, is known as IDEOLECT, as in "He is the son of academic parents and has rather a formal ideolect".
The language of a region or community with regard to vocabulary, structure, grammar and pronunciation is known as DIALECT, as in "the dialect of the Northeast of England", "the dialects of the Southern states of the USA".
Definitions Thesaurus English Usage English / Spanish Spanish / English English / French French / English