Meaning of dialect

di•a•lect

Pronunciation: (dī'u-lekt"), [key]
— n.
  1. a variety of a language that is distinguished from other varieties of the same language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically or socially.
  2. a provincial, rural, or socially distinct variety of a language that differs from the standard language, esp. when considered as substandard.
  3. a special variety of a language: The literary dialect is usually taken as the standard language.
  4. a language considered as one of a group that have a common ancestor: Persian, Latin, and English are Indo-European dialects.
  5. jargon or cant.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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