Definition of dialect in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdīəˌlekt/


1A particular form of a language that is peculiar to a specific region or social group: this novel is written in the dialect of Trinidad
More example sentences
  • The Jutes settled in and near Kent, but the dialect for the region is known as Kentish, not Jutish.
  • Many families speak Alsacien, a dialect peculiar to the region, quite different from either French or German.
  • The Thai language has four main dialects, and many regional expressions, so there is plenty of margin for error in communication.
regional language, local language, local speech, vernacular, patois, idiom;
regionalisms, localisms
informal lingo
1.1 Computing A particular version of a programming language.
Example sentences
  • It allows two services to communicate even if they speak two dialects of XML.
  • Logix developers build their programs with either the standard or base Logix dialects.
  • The company has developed a dialect of C to create code for the microengines.



Pronunciation: /dīəˈlektəl/
Example sentences
  • Over the centuries its grammar has become progressively simplified and increasingly open to dialectal modification, so that grammatical ‘correctness’ is often variable or uncertain.
  • In addition, because there is no explicit definition of ‘awkward’ offered in the test materials, we might expect that the examiner's response may be conditioned by dialectal differences between the examiner and the child.
  • Metalinguistic awareness of degrees of formality, dialectal diversity, and sociolinguistic variation are all candidates for conceptual domains against which profiling takes place, as are the various ‘associations’ of a word.


Mid 16th century (denoting the art of investigating the truth of opinions): from French dialecte, or via Latin from Greek dialektos 'discourse, way of speaking', from dialegesthai 'converse with' (see dialogue).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: di·a·lect

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