sprach·​ge·​fühl ˈshpräḵ-gə-ˌfᵫl How to pronounce sprachgefühl (audio)
: the character of a language
: an intuitive sense of what is linguistically appropriate

Did you know?

Sprachgefühl was borrowed into English from German at the end of the 19th century and combines two German nouns, Sprache, meaning "language, speech," and Gefühl, meaning "feeling." (Nouns are capitalized in German, and you'll occasionally see sprachgefühl capitalized in English too.) We're quite certain that the quality of sprachgefühl is common among our readers, but the word itself is rare, making only occasional appearances in our language.

Word History


German, from Sprache language + Gefühl feeling

First Known Use

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sprachgefühl was in 1894


Dictionary Entries Near sprachgefühl

Cite this Entry

“Sprachgefühl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sprachgef%C3%BChl. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!