Meaning of lingua franca

lin'gua fran'ca

Pronunciation: (frang'ku), [key]
— pl. lingua francas, lin•guae fran•cae
  1. any language that is widely used as a means of communication among speakers of other languages.
  2. (cap.) the Italian-Provençal jargon (with elements of Spanish, French, Greek, Arabic, and Turkish) formerly widely used in eastern Mediterranean ports.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.