Definition of dialect
1 linguistics a : a regional variety of language distinguished by features of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation from other regional varieties and constituting together with them a single language the Doric dialect of ancient Greek a dialect of Chinese spoken in Hong Kongb : one of two or more cognate (see 1cognate 3a) languages French and Italian are Romance dialectsc : a variety of a language used by the members of a group such dialects as politics and advertising — Philip Howardd : a variety of language whose identity is fixed by a factor other than geography (such as social class) spoke a rough peasant dialecte : register 4cf : a version of a computer programming language
2 : manner or means of expressing oneself : phraseology
dialectalplay \ˌdī-ə-ˈlek-təl\ adjective
dialectallyplay \-tə-lē\ adverb
Examples of dialect in a Sentence
They speak a southern dialect of French.
The author uses dialect in his writing.
The play was hard to understand when the characters spoke in dialect.
Recent Examples of dialect from the Web
His culture, Tyler says in the distinctive island drawl that seems to mix a Scottish accent with Bawlmerese dialect, is worth preserving.
Though cuneiform was used to record many languages and dialects, our first examples come from roughly 5,000 years ago in Sumeria.
Once cities, countries, and dialect come into play; HBCU's are truly diverse. 2.
On Formentera, the local language, a dialect of Catalan, can still be heard, but Italian is the tongue of the majority of the summer people.
His diverse ensemble, now called the Tanzania Albinism Collective, sang mostly in Swahili, but also local dialects, which remain well-spoken on the island.
The scientists at Cambridge even found that wolves had 21 different dialects.
Written in dialect, the poem follows the drama of a black church spelling bee, complete with flirting, finery, and a narrator who throws the contest so his sweetheart can win.
Ravioli also originated here, and in Ligurian dialect, rabiole can mean a thing of trifling value.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dialect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Dialectic: Logic through Conversation
Dialectic is a term used in philosophy, and the fact that it is closely connected to the ideas of Socrates and Plato is completely logical—even from an etymological point of view. Plato’s famous dialogues frequently presented Socrates playing a leading role, and dialogue comes from the Greek roots dia- (“through” or “across”) and -logue (“discourse” or “talk”). Dialect and dialectic come from dialecktos (“conversation” or “dialect”) and ultimately back to the Greek word dialegesthai, meaning “to converse.”
Conversation or dialogue was indeed at the heart of the “Socratic method,” through which Socrates would ask probing questions which cumulatively revealed his students’ unsupported assumptions and misconceptions. The goal, according to the definition in our Unabridged Dictionary, was to “elicit a clear and consistent expression of something supposed to be implicitly known by all rational beings.”
Other philosophers had specific uses of the term dialectic, including Aristotelianism, Stoicism, Kantianism, Hegelianism, and Marxism. Asking a series of questions was considered by Socrates a method of “giving birth” to the truth, and a related word, maieutic, defined as “relating to or resembling the Socratic method of eliciting new ideas from another,” comes from the Greek word meaning “of midwifery.”
DIALECT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of dialect for English Language Learners
: a form of a language that is spoken in a particular area and that uses some of its own words, grammar, and pronunciations
DIALECT Defined for Kids
Definition of dialect for Students
: a form of a language that is spoken in a certain region or by a certain group
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