American Sign Language


: a sign language that is used especially for communication by and with deaf people and is the formal sign language of the United States and English-speaking Canada and also serves as the basis for various sign languages in other countries (such as Thailand, Nigeria, and Bolivia)
abbreviation ASL

called also Ameslan

Note: American Sign Language was developed in Hartford, Connecticut in the early 1800s.

Examples of American Sign Language in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Deaf West uses both Deaf and hearing actors in their productions with all the performers performing American Sign Language (ASL), which becomes an integral part of the show and its choreography. Jenelle Riley, Variety, 17 May 2024 Other supports include American Sign Language interpreters, an intimacy and fight director (Hannah Roccisano) and a director of ASL (Kailyn Aaron-Lozano). Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 May 2024 Since the fall of 2020, McDaniel has added 13 new majors, including actuarial science, American Sign Language, applied mathematics, biochemistry, biomedical science, criminal justice, food studies, international business, marketing and writing/publishing. Thomas Goodwin Smith, Baltimore Sun, 13 Apr. 2024 The Lifeline can aid in Spanish and American Sign Language and has special lines for veterans and young LGBTQ people. Gillian Brassil, Sacramento Bee, 7 May 2024 The organization’s inclusivity is apparent in its casting of performers of different ages, ethnicities, gender identities and abilities, including Noelle Wilder, a deaf performer who provides American Sign Language interpretations for foundation shows. Kate Bradshaw, The Mercury News, 2 May 2024 Murphy has also served as a sign language interpreter and has a passion to educate others in the field of American Sign Language ― both Murphy's parents and her husband are a part of the Deaf community. Adrienne Davis, Journal Sentinel, 1 Apr. 2024 The All Abilities Day program is inclusive for all abilities, with hands-on experiences, American Sign Language and Spanish-speaking interpreters on site, indoor and outdoor options, and wheelchair accessible programs and facilities. Jane Tyska, The Mercury News, 27 Mar. 2024 The event will also feature a performance by American Sign Language (ASL) hip hop star Matt Maxey aka Deafinitely Dope. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 13 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'American Sign Language.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1893, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of American Sign Language was in 1893

Dictionary Entries Near American Sign Language

Cite this Entry

“American Sign Language.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

American Sign Language

: a sign language for the deaf

More from Merriam-Webster on American Sign Language

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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