Definition of dialect in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdʌɪəlɛkt/


1A particular form of a language which is peculiar to a specific region or social group: the Lancashire dialect seemed like a foreign language
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 tongue, local speech, local parlance, variety of language;
vernacular, patois, non-standard language, idiom;
regionalisms, localisms, provincialisms
informal lingo, local lingo, -ese, -speak
Linguistics  acrolect, basilect, sociolect, idiolect
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: /dʌɪəˈlɛkt(ə)l/
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.


Example sentences
  • Catalan is dialectally diverse, but one tendency in recent Catalan politics has been the promotion of a standard variety to the exclusion of the other dialects.
  • This is followed by the process of pre-search translation, which comprises of translating the dialectally standardized word into a target language through a translator.
  • An important part of that project is a documentary study of the Assiniboine language, itself dialectally diverse, that will ultimately result in linguistic reference works.


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

Line breaks: dia|lect

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