Middle English


Middle English

noun

: the English language between about 1100 and 1400

Full Definition of MIDDLE ENGLISH

:  the English in use from the 12th to 15th centuries — see indo-european languages table

First Known Use of MIDDLE ENGLISH

1830

Middle English

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Vernacular spoken and written in England c. 1100–1500, the descendant of Old English and the ancestor of Modern English. It can be divided into three periods: Early, Central, and Late. The Central period was marked by the borrowing of many Anglo-Norman words and the rise of the London dialect, used by such poets as John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer in a 14th-century flowering of English literature. The dialects of Middle English are usually divided into four groups: Southern, East Midland, West Midland, and Northern.

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