Definition of “language” - English Dictionary

“language” in British English

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languagenoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈlæŋ.ɡwɪdʒ/ us /ˈlæŋ.ɡwɪdʒ/

A1 a system of communication consisting of sounds, words, and grammar, or the system of communication used by people in a particular country or type of work:

She does research into how children acquire language.
Do you speak any foreign languages?"
I'm hopeless at learning languages.
the English language
legal/technical language
the language of business
Java and Perl are both important computer programming languages (= systems of writing instructions for computers).

More examples

  • She's studying modern Japanese language and culture.
  • Unable to speak a word of the language, he communicated with his hands.
  • We were encouraged to learn foreign languages at school.
  • Her novels have been translated into 19 languages.
  • One of the main reasons I came to England was to study the language.

(Definition of “language” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“language” in American English

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languagenoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈlæŋ·ɡwɪdʒ/

a system of communication by speaking, writing, or making signs in a way that can be understood, or any of the different systems of communication used in particular regions:

[ C ] the English language
[ C ] American Sign Language
[ C ] He speaks six foreign languages.
[ U ] Her language skills are excellent.

Language is also a particular type of expression:

[ U ] beautiful language
[ U ] foul language (= offensive words)

In computer programming, a language is a system of writing instructions for computers.

(Definition of “language” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“language” in Business English

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languagenoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ/ us

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

to understand someone because you have the same way of thinking about things, or of doing things:

Our businesses complement each other, and we speak the same language.

(Definition of “language” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)