1

vernacular

adjective ver·nac·u·lar \ vər-ˈna-kyə-lər , və- \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of vernacular

1 a :using a language or dialect native to a region or country rather than a literary, cultured, or foreign language
b :of, relating to, or being a nonstandard language or dialect of a place, region, or country
c :of, relating to, or being the normal spoken form of a language
2 :applied to a plant or animal in the common native speech as distinguished from the Latin nomenclature of scientific classification
  • the vernacular name
3 :of, relating to, or characteristic of a period, place, or group; especially :of, relating to, or being the common building style of a period or place
  • vernacular architecture

vernacularly

adverb

Examples of vernacular in a Sentence

  1. While there are American operas galore, some of which are quite good indeed, there is no vernacular opera tradition in America—instead, we have musical comedy—and now that supertitles have become standard equipment at major American opera houses, the chances that those houses will start regularly performing foreign-language operas in English translation have dropped from slim to none. —Terry TeachoutNew York Times Book Review9 Nov. 1997
  2. Native crafts, the use of local materials, and vernacular buildings were considered integral to each country's heritage, and their preservation and revival became part of the movement to forge a strong national identity. —Wendy KaplanAntiquesOctober 1995
  3. For the proliferation of rich vernacular literatures in the twelfth century secured the place of the vulgar tongues in European society, and this entrenchment of the vernacular tongues made the European peoples more conscious of being separated from each other; decreased the cosmopolitan attitudes of the European nobility; and encouraged xenophobia, which became common in the thirteenth century. —Norman F. CantorThe Civilization of the Middle Ages1993
  4. Hurricanes, fires and economic development unfortunately have caused many examples of both vernacular and more classical architecture to disappear over the years. —Suzanne StephensArchitectural Digest1 Aug. 1990
  5. the vernacular architecture of the region

  6. writes essays in a very easy-to-read, vernacular style

Recent Examples of vernacular from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of vernacular

Latin vernāculus "belonging to the household, domestic, native" (from verna "slave born in the household"—of uncertain origin— + -āculus, perhaps originally diminutive suffix, though derivation is unclear) + -ar

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


2

vernacular

noun

Definition of vernacular

1 :a vernacular language, expression, or mode of expression :an expression or mode of expression that occurs in ordinary speech rather than formal writing
2 :the mode of expression of a group or class
3 :a common name of a plant or animal as distinguished from the Latin nomenclature of scientific classification :a vernacular name of a plant or animal

Examples of vernacular in a Sentence

  1. But ask baseball people about [Michael] Young, and they'll admiringly tell you that he is a "grinder," vernacular for a player who works his butt off. —Chris BallardSports Illustrated8 May 2006
  2. … the sources for [Cole] Porter's chromaticism and syncopation are the vernacular of black music in America. —Stephen BrownTimes Literary Supplement21 Jan. 2005
  3. For Lu Xun helped revolutionize Chinese writing, tugging the written language toward the vernacular so that it was easier to learn, and he even endorsed the heresy of abandoning Chinese characters for the Roman alphabet so that literacy could spread more easily. —Amy HempelNew York Times Book Review19 Aug. 1990
  4. New Mexico is not the easiest region in the country for an architect to establish a practice in. It is not that the area is indifferent to architecture—it is more that the traditional south-western architectural vernacular is so awe-inspiring that it tends to overwhelm most efforts to create a credible personal voice. —Paul GoldbergerArchitectural DigestOctober 1986
  5. What was required was a vagrant and a visionary, a man of mystic recklessness. The man who dared point the way would have to use the vernacular, and not speak but shriek. Paracelsus (1493–1541) was suspect in his day, and never lost his reputation as a charlatan. —Daniel J. BoorstinThe Discoverers1983
  6. He spoke in the vernacular of an urban teenager.

  7. phrases that occur in the common vernacular

Recent Examples of vernacular from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of vernacular

noun derivative of 1vernacular

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


VERNACULAR Defined for English Language Learners

vernacular

adjective

Definition of vernacular for English Language Learners

  • : of, relating to, or using the language of ordinary speech rather than formal writing

  • : of or relating to the common style of a particular time, place, or group


vernacular

noun

Definition of vernacular for English Language Learners

  • : the language of ordinary speech rather than formal writing



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