How many languages do you speak?
French is her first language.
The book has been translated into several languages.
He's learning English as a second language.
a new word that has recently entered the language
the formal language of the report
the beauty of Shakespeare's language
She expressed her ideas using simple and clear language.
He is always careful in his use of language. See More
Recent Examples on the WebThey will be offered support and resources, including water, transportation, medical and mental health care and language assistance, Maui officials said.—Holly Yan, CNN, 25 Sep. 2023 Nuanced language and cancel-free ways to reason about it will emerge.—WIRED, 25 Sep. 2023 Writers strike negotiations hung up on language over AI as talks continue
Striking WGA and SAG-AFTRA members outside Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Monday.—Josh Feldman, NBC News, 24 Sep. 2023 Studio-side sources familiar with the negotiations say that the two parties are very close to reaching a final compromise and the studio side continues to work on language regarding regulations on artificial intelligence.—Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Sep. 2023 The members of the group had a lot of different ideas about what language the lyrics should be in.—Billboard Japan, Billboard, 22 Sep. 2023 Some engineers and startup founders have gone further, starting their own projects using large language models, including the one behind ChatGPT, to create AI agents with broader and more advanced capabilities.—WIRED, 19 Sep. 2023 The premiere of an English language version of Germany’s runaway musical hit (by bookwriter and lyricist Michael Kunze and composer Sylvester Levay) comes at a considerable production cost, immediately made plain by the 19-strong cast and the 18-piece band.—David Benedict, Variety, 19 Sep. 2023 Trumbore carefully assembled lines from contemporary American poets Barbara Crooker, Laura Foley and Amy Fleury, setting them in a lush harmonic language that at times recalls her teacher Morten Lauridsen’s sonorities.—Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'language.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, from Anglo-French langage, from lange, langue tongue, language, from Latin lingua — more at tongue
: the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a large group of people
: a means of communicating ideas
: the means by which animals communicate or are thought to communicate with each other
language of the bees
: a system of signs and symbols and rules for using them that is used to carry information
BASIC is a computer language
: the way in which words are used
: the words and expressions of a particular group or field
the language of medicine
: the study of language
Middle English language "language," from early French language (same meaning), from langue "language, tongue," from Latin lingua "tongue, language"
The tongue plays an important part in human speech. Different sounds are made by different positions of the tongue. The tongue and speech are so closely connected that in many languages the word that means "tongue" also means "language." This is true in English, as when we say "she spoke a foreign tongue." It was also true in Latin, where the word lingua meant both "tongue" and "language." From the Latin lingua came the early French langue, meaning "tongue, language," which gave rise to the early French word language. The English word language comes directly from this early French word.