Simple Definition of lingua franca
: a language that is used among people who speak various different languages
Full Definition of lingua franca
plural lingua francas or linguae francae play \-gwē-ˈfraŋ-(ˌ)kē\
1 often capitalized : a common language consisting of Italian mixed with French, Spanish, Greek, and Arabic that was formerly spoken in Mediterranean ports
2 : any of various languages used as common or commercial tongues among peoples of diverse speech
3 : something resembling a common language <movies are the lingua franca of the twentieth century — Gore Vidal>
Examples of lingua franca in a sentence
English is used as a lingua franca among many airline pilots.
Origin of lingua franca
Italian, literally, Frankish language
First Known Use: 1619
Learn More about lingua franca
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "lingua franca"
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up lingua franca? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).