A language evolving from a simplified standardized version of Tupi, and used as a lingua franca in Brazil.
In widespread use throughout Portuguese Brazil from the 16th century, before declining in favour of Portuguese from the mid 17th century onwards. A later version of the language was taken up in the Amazonian basin, where it is still spoken by a limited population along the Rio Negro; it is now an official language of Brazil.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London. From Portuguese lingua geral language evolving from a simplified standardized version of Tupi, specific use of lingua geral lingua franca, common language from lingua language + geral.