Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “first language”

first language

  /ˈfɜrst ˈlæŋ.ɡwɪdʒ/ noun
the language that someone learns to speak first: Madeleine’s first language is French, but she also speaks German fluently.
(Definition of first language noun from the Webster's Essential Mini Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Definitions of “first language” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


physical activity that you do to make your body strong and healthy

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More