Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

English

play
adjective En·glish \ˈiŋ-glish, ˈiŋ-lish\

Simple Definition of English

  • : of or relating to England or its people

  • : of or relating to the chief language of Great Britain, the U.S., etc.

Full Definition of English

  1. :  of, relating to, or characteristic of England, the English people, or the English language

En·glish·ness noun

Origin of english

Middle English, from Old English englisc, from Engle (plural) Angles


First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with english


2

English

noun En·glish

Simple Definition of English

  • : the chief language of Great Britain, the U.S., and many areas now or formerly under British control

  • : a particular type of English

  • : English language, literature, or writing as a subject of study

Full Definition of English

  1. 1 a :  the language of the people of England and the United States and many areas now or formerly under British control b :  a particular variety of English distinguished by peculiarities (as of pronunciation) c :  English language, literature, or composition when a subject of study

  2. 2 plural in construction :  the people of England

  3. 3 a :  an English translation b :  idiomatic or intelligible English

  4. 4 :  spin around the vertical axis deliberately imparted to a ball that is driven or rolled — compare draw, follow, body english

Examples of english

  1. The English traditionally have afternoon tea.

  2. I asked the doctor to give me my diagnosis in English, not medical jargon.



Before 12th Century

First Known Use of english

before 12th century


3

English

verb En·glish

Definition of English

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to translate into English

  3. 2 :  to adopt into English :  anglicize



14th Century

First Known Use of english

14th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms



ENGLISH Defined for Kids

1

English

play
adjective En·glish \ˈiŋ-glish\

Definition of English

  1. :  of or relating to England, its people, or the English language <English literature> <English customs>




2

English

play
noun En·glish

Definition of English

  1. 1 :  the language of England, the United States, and some other countries now or at one time under British rule

  2. 2 English plural :  the people of England

  3. 3 :  English language or literature as a subject in school





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up English? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ