Meaning of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

Sa•pir'-Whorf' hypoth"esis

Pronunciation: (su-pēr'hwôrf', -hwōrf', -wôrf', -wōrf'), [key]
  1. a theory developed by Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf that states that the structure of a language determines or greatly influences the modes of thought and behavior characteristic of the culture in which it is spoken. Also called
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.