English

1 of 3

adjective

: of, relating to, or characteristic of England, the English people, or the English language
Englishness noun

English

2 of 3

noun

1
a
: the language of the people of England and the U.S. 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
plural in construction : the people of England
3
a
: an English translation
b
: idiomatic or intelligible English
4
: spin around the vertical axis deliberately imparted to a ball that is driven or rolled compare draw, follow, body english

English

3 of 3

verb

Englished; Englishing; Englishes

transitive verb

1
: to translate into English
2
: to adopt into English : anglicize

Example Sentences

Noun The English traditionally have afternoon tea. I asked the doctor to give me my diagnosis in English, not medical jargon.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of English was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near English

Cite this Entry

“English.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/English. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

English 1 of 2

adjective

En·​glish ˈiŋ-glish How to pronounce English (audio)
: of, relating to, or characteristic of England, the English people, or the English language

English

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: the language of the people of England and the U.S. and many areas now or formerly under British control
b
: English language, literature, or writing technique that is a subject of study
2
English plural : the people of England
3
: a sideways spin given to a ball when it is struck or bowled

Biographical Definition

English

biographical name

En·​glish ˈiŋ-glish How to pronounce English (audio)
ˈiŋ-lish
Bill 1961–    Simon William English prime minister of New Zealand (2016–2017)

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