language lan‧guage [ˈlæŋgwɪdʒ] noun
1. [countable, uncountable] a system of speaking and writing used by people in one country or area:

• the French language

• Do you speak any foreign languages?

• Trading in Europe means communicating in more than one language.

ofˌficial ˈlanguage [countable]
the language that is approved by the government of a country, taught in schools, and used in legal and official documents:

• Croatian is the official language of Croatia.

ˌworld ˈlanguage [countable]
a language such as English that is used in many different parts of the world
2. [uncountable] the kind of words and style used in one kind of writing or by people in a particular job or activity:

• technical language

3. also computer language [countable, uncountable] COMPUTING a system of commands and instructions used for operating a computer:

• Internet Protocol ( IP) is a computer language that allows email users to communicate with one another.

• the business-oriented Cobol computer language

asˈsembly ˌlanguage [uncountable] COMPUTING
a computer language that uses ordinary words and numbers. The computer changes assembly language into the machine language in which it operates :

• Early versions of the software were written in assembly language.

ˌhigh-ˈlevel ˌlanguage [countable, uncountable] COMPUTING
a computer language used to write computer programs that includes ordinary words and numbers, and is designed to be easy to use. High-level languages include Basic, C, Cobol, and Fortran
maˈchine ˌlanguage [countable, uncountable] COMPUTING
a computer language used to write computer programs that uses instructions written in binary numbers (= combinations of the numbers 0 and 1) that can be understood directly by the computer. Machine language programs run very quickly, but are difficult to write because ordinary words and numbers are not used:

• Anything that is input into the computer will in the end be translated into machine language.

ˈobject ˌlanguage [countable, uncountable] COMPUTING
a computer language that uses standard blocks of instructions that have already been written. Object language allows programmers to work more quickly
ˈprogramming ˌlanguage [countable, uncountable] COMPUTING
a computer language used to write computer programs:

• HTML is the programming language of the Internet's World Wide Web.

* * *

language UK US /ˈlæŋgwɪdʒ/ noun [C or U]
COMMUNICATIONS the method of human communication that uses speaking and writing, or the system of communication in speaking and writing that is used by the people of a particular country: learn/understand a language »

It's easier to learn a language when you're younger.

speak/use a language »

35% of residents speak a language other than English at home.


Many British people speak no foreign languages.

in a language »

Business deals often go more smoothly if you can speak to people in their own language.


Too many children leave school with poor language skills, unable to compose a letter or email.


The company offers language classes for employees posted abroad.

COMMUNICATIONS a particular style of speaking or writing, for example, one that is used by the people doing a particular job: »

When you are giving instructions, make sure you use language that everyone can understand.

the language of sth »

They speak the language of international finance.

IT written instructions, for example, rules and symbols, given to a computer so it can understand what the user wants it to do: »

This version of the UNIX language serves as a software platform for computer programs.

speak/talk the same language — Cf. talk the same language
See also ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE(Cf. ↑assembly language), BODY LANGUAGE(Cf. ↑body language), COMPUTER LANGUAGE(Cf. ↑computer language), MACHINE LANGUAGE(Cf. ↑machine language), OBJECT LANGUAGE(Cf. ↑object language), OFFICIAL LANGUAGE(Cf. ↑official language), PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE(Cf. ↑programming language), WORLD LANGUAGE(Cf. ↑world language)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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  • Language — Lan guage, n. [OE. langage, F. langage, fr. L. lingua the tongue, hence speech, language; akin to E. tongue. See {Tongue}, cf. {Lingual}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Any means of conveying or communicating ideas; specifically, human speech; the expression …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • language — 1 Language, dialect, tongue, speech, idiom are comparable when they denote a body or system of words and phrases used by a large community (as of a region) or by a people, a nation, or a group of nations. Language may be used as a general term… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • language — [laŋ′gwij] n. [ME < OFr langage < langue, tongue < L lingua, tongue, language, altered (by assoc. with lingere, to lick) < OL dingua < IE * dṇg̑hwa > OE tunge, TONGUE] 1. a) human speech b) Archaic the ability to communicate by… …   English World dictionary

  • language — I noun communication, composition, dialect, expression, faculty of speech, folk speech, form of expression, formulation, idiom, jargon, lingua, linguistics, means of communication, oral, oratio, parlance, phrasing, phraseology, rhetoric, sermo,… …   Law dictionary

  • language — late 13c., langage words, what is said, conversation, talk, from O.Fr. langage (12c.), from V.L. *linguaticum, from L. lingua tongue, also speech, language (see LINGUAL (Cf. lingual)). The form with u developed in Anglo French. Meaning a language …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Language — Lan guage, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Languaged}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Languaging}.] To communicate by language; to express in language. [1913 Webster] Others were languaged in such doubtful expressions that they have a double sense. Fuller. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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