Meaning of dialect in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdʌɪəlɛkt/

See synonyms for dialect

Translate dialect into Spanish


  • 1A particular form of a language which is peculiar to a specific region or social group.

    ‘the Lancashire dialect seemed like a foreign language’
    • ‘The Jutes settled in and near Kent, but the dialect for the region is known as Kentish, not Jutish.’
    • ‘Many families speak Alsacien, a dialect peculiar to the region, quite different from either French or German.’
    • ‘The Thai language has four main dialects, and many regional expressions, so there is plenty of margin for error in communication.’
    • ‘Linguistic science has long recognized that all dialects of a language are linguistically complex and rule governed.’
    • ‘It's not helpful to shame people for their dialects, the sociolinguists seem to say.’
    • ‘He was a formidable linguist, speaking 25 languages and many more dialects.’
    • ‘Or do we speak slightly different dialects of English?’
    • ‘Guyanese speak Creole dialects of English with varying ethnic lexical imprints.’
    • ‘Informally, most residents speak a local English-based Creole dialect.’
    • ‘The two official languages in Hong Kong are Chinese (mainly the local Cantonese dialect) and English.’
    • ‘People in lower socioeconomic groups take public transportation and are more likely to use regional dialects.’
    • ‘The terms refer to different dialects of the spoken Chinese language.’
    • ‘My mother broke the news to me in our native Hokkien Chinese dialect.’
    • ‘So, no prizes for guessing what this week's dialect word is.’
    • ‘Although there is some overlap, dialect regions are generally separated by tracts of mostly unused sagebrush or forested areas.’
    • ‘He yelled at me in an archaic dialect of Spanish, and I understood every word.’
    • ‘He was listening to a Yorkshire dialect poetry reading.’
    • ‘So we might plausibly imagine that these four varieties constitute dialects of one language.’
    • ‘There can therefore be no doubt that the scribe was a dialect speaker.’
    • ‘By using the dialect the way she does, the reader gets a better understanding of the atmosphere.’
    regional language, local language, local tongue, local speech, local parlance, variety of language
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Computing A particular version of a programming language.
      ‘It allows two services to communicate even if they speak two dialects of XML.’
      • ‘Logix developers build their programs with either the standard or base Logix dialects.’
      • ‘The company has developed a dialect of C to create code for the microengines.’


Mid 16th century (denoting the art of investigating the truth of opinions): from French dialecte, or via Latin from Greek dialektos ‘discourse, way of speaking’, from dialegesthai ‘converse with’ (see dialogue).