noun sprach·ge·fühl \ˈshpräḵ-gə-ˌfuel\

Definition of sprachgefühl

  1. 1 :  the character of a language

  2. 2 :  an intuitive sense of what is linguistically appropriate

sprachgefühl was our Word of the Day on 03/19/2015. Hear the podcast!

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, as in our second example.) 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.

Origin and Etymology of sprachgefühl

German, from Sprache language + Gefühl feeling

First Known Use: 1894

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sprachgefühl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


quaintly unconventional or refined

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