Definition of vernacular in English:


Syllabification: ver·nac·u·lar
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
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    • 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.


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  • 1(Of language) spoken as one’s mother tongue; not learned or imposed as a second language.
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    • 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
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    • 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.
    More 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: /-ˌrizəm/
More 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: /-ˌnakyəˈlaritē/
More 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.


More 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.


More 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.

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