Definition of lingo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlɪŋɡəʊ/

noun (plural lingos or lingoes)

informal, often humorous
1A foreign language or local dialect: it doesn’t matter if you can’t speak the lingo
More example sentences
  • Just wave the camera and smile if you can't speak the local lingo.
  • Felicity of language is a strong point, and he switches with ease from English into the local lingo.
  • Scientists searching for patterns within this cacophony of lingoes are convinced that languages hold pivotal clues to questions about human history that other areas of study have been unable to answer.
1.1The vocabulary or jargon of a particular subject or group of people: computer lingo
More example sentences
  • Each subject has its own lingo, meaning that, where appropriate, he lays his particular accent on thicker.
  • He should bounce back, as we say in the medical lingo, within a few days, I think.
  • He preferred not to trust someone ahead of himself, so he even learned the medical lingo.


Mid 17th century: probably via Portuguese lingoa from Latin lingua 'tongue'.

  • language from Middle English:

    The word language is from Old French langage, based on Latin lingua ‘tongue’, which is also found in linguist (late 16th century), and goes back to an Indo-European root shared with lick (Old English). The expression to lick someone into shape comes from the old tradition that bear cubs were born a formless mass, and had literally to be licked into shape by their mothers. Lingo (mid 17th century) is probably from the Portuguese form of lingua.

Words that rhyme with lingo

bingo, dingo, Domingo, flamingo, gringo, jingo

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: lingo

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