(noun)  A symbolic means of communicating through gestures, sounds, or written words.

Example: Spoken English, sign language, or the words you are currently reading.

Audio Pronunciation: (lan·guage)

Download Audio Pronunciation: language.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: languages
  • Also called:
    • linguistic communication
    • linguistic process

Related Quotations:

  • “Every attempt to definitely say what language is is subject to a curious limitation. For the only medium with which we can define language is language itself. We are therefore unable to circumscribe the whole of language within our definition. It may be best, then, to leave language undefined, and to thus acknowledge its open-endedness, its mysteriousness” (Abram 1996:73).
  • “Language is the cornerstone of every every culture. It is the chief vehicle by which people communicate ideas, information, attitudes, and emotions to one another, and it is the principal means by which human beings create culture and transmit it from generation to generation” (Hughes and Kroehler 2008:47).

Related Terms: 



Abram, David. 1996. The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World. New York: Pantheon Books.

Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2008. Sociology: The Core. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill.