Definition of vernacular in English:

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Pronunciation: /vərˈnakyələr/


1 (usually the vernacular) The language or dialect spoken by the ordinary people in a particular country or region: he wrote in the vernacular to reach a larger audience
More example sentences
  • Mellors is capable of approximating the language of his lord and lady; but for him, ordinary English is the vernacular.
  • For example, in the case of Li Po, or Li Bai, his poetry is very accessible, because he uses ordinary language, vernacular that everyone can understand.
  • They simply called them theotisci, those who speak the vernacular, the language of the people (theod).
language, dialect, regional language, regionalisms, patois, parlance;
idiom, slang, jargon
informal lingo, -speak, -ese
1.1 [with modifier] The terminology used by people belonging to a specified group or engaging in a specialized activity: gardening vernacular
More example sentences
  • Assets then passed as a technical term into the vernacular.
  • Furthermore, to resurrect the extinct Southern vernacular expression, to ‘swan,’ means to swear, to promise.
  • Folksonomies are, in essence, just vernacular vocabularies; the ad-hoc languages of intimate networks.
2Architecture concerned with domestic and functional rather than monumental buildings: buildings in which Gothic merged into farmhouse vernacular
More example sentences
  • Falmouth's new maritime museum responds to and is inspired by the muscular vernacular of nautical buildings.
  • And a distinctive style it is: the romantic, aspiring skyscrapers our cover evokes are the true New York architectural vernacular.
  • Most of the houses are bungalows or two-storey buildings, and all will be built in keeping with Arran's architectural vernacular.


1(Of language) spoken as one’s mother tongue; not learned or imposed as a second language.
Example sentences
  • Instead it will become regarded historically as a document that knowingly accelerated the demise of vernacular language usage in the Northern Territory.
  • No record remains of the education that gave Chaucer lifelong familiarity with Latin and several vernacular languages and literatures.
  • While many people speak English, in rural areas tribal languages are spoken, in addition to a few other vernacular languages.
1.1(Of speech or written works) spoken or written using one’s mother tongue: vernacular literature
More example sentences
  • At a sitting of the local court a defendant used popular vernacular speech while being cross examined by the solicitor.
  • Not only does Hurston allow rural Black Floridians to tell their own folktales, but she presents their tales in Black vernacular speech.
  • Here is what I believe to be the vernacular understanding of the difference between shame, humiliation and embarrassment.
2(Of architecture) concerned with domestic and functional rather than monumental buildings.
Example sentences
  • This activity can remind us that vernacular architecture is one cornerstone of our identity.
  • As is the custom in Indian vernacular architecture, Barefoot College courtyards are highly decorated at ground level.
  • But the disadvantage is the difficulty of capturing the essence of a place and responding to the vernacular architecture.



Pronunciation: /vərˈnakyələˌrizəm/
Example sentences
  • Some architects and scholars of architecture have sidestepped this question and chosen instead to experiment with vernacularism.
  • My use of vernacularisms in this post seemed appropriate in the informal atmosphere of the blogosphere.
  • The ambient sights and sounds, work culture, and common vernacularisms are the story's setting.


Pronunciation: /vərˌnakyəˈlerədē/
Example sentences
  • Please feel free to discuss possible papers with us by email, and to suggest themes and issues that seem to you relevant to the topic of vernacularity.
  • Somerset's book provides the tools to push vernacularity studies to a higher level, to the kind of serious scholarship the topic still needs.
  • I am interested in translation in a broader sense, that is, in terms of metaphor and poetics as well as vernacularity.


Pronunciation: /vərˈnakyələˌrīz/
Example sentences
  • The problem, in a sense, is that Power and his collaborators have done their vernacularizing too well.
  • The first exorbitant use of it was to justify vernacularizing the Mass totally and everywhere.
  • This ended when the liturgy was vernacularized in 1965, after the Second Vatican Council.


Example sentences
  • Dening is concise and helpful in asserting that history in the Pacific needs to be vernacular and ‘vernacularly tolerant’.
  • And cultivating friendships among neighboring competitors has proven to be a great bun-saver, vernacularly speaking.
  • Put vernacularly, the citizens of barter-addicted countries will inevitably grow disenchanted with shoddy and shabby goods delivered late.


Early 17th century: from Latin vernaculus 'domestic, native' (from verna 'home-born slave') + -ar1.

Words that rhyme with vernacular

Dracula, facula, oracular, spectacular
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