Definition of lingua franca in English:

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lingua franca

Pronunciation: /ˌliNGɡwə ˈfraNGkə/

noun (plural lingua francas)

1A language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.
Example sentences
  • The national language of Zambia is English, which also serves as the lingua franca (common language).
  • Hausa, which is spoken by over half the population, has become the lingua franca (common language) of the country.
  • Swahili originated on the coast and became the lingua franca (common language) for much of East Africa.
1.1 historical A mixture of Italian with French, Greek, Arabic, and Spanish, formerly used in the Levant.


Late 17th century: from Italian, literally 'Frankish tongue'.

Words that rhyme with lingua franca

anchor, banker, Bianca, canker, Casablanca, Costa Blanca, flanker, franker, hanker, Lubyanka, rancour (US rancor), ranker, Salamanca, spanker, Sri Lanka, tanka, tanker, up-anchor

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lin·gua fran·ca

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