Definition of lingua franca in English:

lingua franca

Syllabification: lin·gua fran·ca
Pronunciation: /ˈliNGgwə ˈfraNGkə

noun (plural lingua francas)

  • 1A language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.
    More 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'.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody