mother tongue

noun

1
: one's native language
2
: a language from which another language derives

Examples of mother tongue in a Sentence

although the anthropologist could speak the local language fairly well, she was always glad to find someone who shared her mother tongue
Recent Examples on the Web In this respect, Franklin and Washington, whose language is their hereditary mother tongue, unsophisticated by modern grammar, present as pure models of genuine English, as Addison or Swift. Liz Tracey, JSTOR Daily, 19 Apr. 2024 Gutter language in many ways erodes our lovely mother tongue and demeans those individuals who use it. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 7 Mar. 2024 Similarly bilharzia in my mother tongue – Shona from Zimbabwe – is called the disease of cognitive function. Gabrielle Emanuel, NPR, 9 May 2024 What sets the tightly knit community, whose mother tongue is Arabic, apart from other minority communities within Israel’s borders is their fierce national pride. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for mother tongue 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mother tongue.' 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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mother tongue was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near mother tongue

Cite this Entry

“Mother tongue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mother%20tongue. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

mother tongue

noun
1
: one's native language
2
: a language from which another language develops
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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