loan·​word | \ ˈlōn-ˌwərd How to pronounce loanword (audio) \

Definition of loanword

: a word taken from another language and at least partly naturalized

Examples of loanword in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most English loanwords borrow from languages that, like English, use the Latin alphabet. Sarah Bunin Benor, The Conversation, "The Scripps spelling bee is off this year, but the controversy over including foreign words is still on," 21 May 2020 With the mega-success of Starbucks and its various coffee competitors, BARISTA has transformed from a somewhat niche Italian loanword to a term most everyone not only knows but uses regularly. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Crosswords Came of Age in the 2010s," 31 Dec. 2019 And so the language planners, led by linguist Ari Páll Kristinsson, are working furiously to match every English word or concept with an Icelandic one—giving young Icelanders no excuse for depending on loanwords learned online. Caitlin Hu, Quartz, "Iceland is inventing a new vocabulary for a high-tech future," 2 June 2019 Each provided loanwords, words adopted from a donor language without translation. Courtney Linder, The Christian Science Monitor, "Voice assistants can't understand Pittsburghese," 19 Apr. 2018 Local journalists describe the scenes here as the local telenovela, a Spanish loanword meaning soap opera. Joseph Hincks / Manila, Time, "The Mutineer: How Antonio Trillanes Came to Lead the Fight Against Rodrigo Duterte," 27 Oct. 2017 Sadly, these words failed to stick, and nowadays one is forced to answer wrong numbers on a loanword: tilifun. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, "Learning Arabic from Egypt’s Revolution," 7 Apr. 2017 It’s time for chimaek, a tradition that combines the Korean term for beer, maekju, with the English loanword for chicken. Wesley Yang, Bon Appetit, "A Fried Chicken Bender in South Korea," 9 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'loanword.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of loanword

1869, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for loanword

Time Traveler

The first known use of loanword was in 1869

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Statistics for loanword

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Loanword.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on loanword

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for loanword

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with loanword

Spanish Central: Translation of loanword Encyclopedia article about loanword

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