Definition of Gaelic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡālik/


Relating to the Goidelic languages, particularly the Celtic language of Scotland, and the culture associated with speakers of these languages and their descendants.
Example sentences
  • People with Scottish connections have a huge interest in Gaelic culture and language.
  • There's also a need to protect Gaelic language and culture.
  • She is involved with primary and tertiary education and the preservation of Gaelic culture and language.


(also Scottish Gaelic)
1A Goidelic language brought from Ireland in the 5th and 6th centuries ad and spoken mainly in the highlands and islands of western Scotland.
Example sentences
  • By the 11th century Scots Gaelic was used throughout Scotland, except for the Hebrides and the Northern Isles which remained under Norse control.
  • There was little use speaking Gaelic in England, Scotland or America.
  • Only three people out of almost 50 in the room speak Gaelic as their first language.
1.1 (also Irish Gaelic) another term for Irish (the language).
Example sentences
  • For many performers it was a statement of identity, allied to a desire for constitutional change and the need to maintain languages such as Welsh, Gaelic, Breton and Erse, threatened with extinction.
  • However, unlike English and Gaelic, Scots words are frequently spelt in a variety of ways, leading to problems in drawing up a recognised system.
  • The move is controversial, because wholesale borrowings of English words into Gaelic have been seen as a sign of weakness in the Celtic language.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Gael·ic

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