Definition of pidgin in English:
noun[often as modifier]
1A grammatically simplified form of a language, typically English, Dutch, or Portuguese, some elements of which are taken from local languages, used for communication between people not sharing a common language.
- The names given to pidgin languages by linguists refer to their location and their principal lexifier or base language: that is, the language from which they draw most of their vocabulary.
- Lexical items in pidgin languages tend to cover a wider semantic domain than in the base language.
- They will create a new pidgin language that has a Spanish syntax, just as English is based on an Anglo-Saxon syntax.
1.1 (Pidgin) another term for Tok Pisin.
- Now known as Tok Pisin, Melanesian Pidgin is spoken throughout Papua New Guinea.
- Unlike many ethnographers of Papua New Guinea societies who worked in Pidgin, Margaret worked in the vernacular.
- Iatmul children and many adults are also fluent in Tok Pisin (an English-based pidgin language), one of the national languages of Papua New Guinea.
1.2 [as modifier] Denoting a simplified form of a language, especially as used by a non-native speaker: we exchanged greetings, communicating in pidgin Spanish
More example sentences
- The staff was very friendly - went to a great deal of effort to understand our pidgin Japanese!
- Monica Ali tells Hasina's part of the story through her letters to her sister in pidgin Bengali, rendered into pidgin English.
- The peddler approaches the narrator adopting a pidgin English.
late 19th century: Chinese alteration of English business.