dead language

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dead language

A language, such as Latin, that is no longer learned as a native language by a speech community.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dead language - a language that is no longer learned as a native language
language, linguistic communication - a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols; "he taught foreign languages"; "the language introduced is standard throughout the text"; "the speed with which a program can be executed depends on the language in which it is written"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
لُغَةٌ ميِّتَه
mrtvý jazyk
dødt sprog
holt nyelv
dautt tungumál
mŕtvy jazyk
kullanılmayan dil


(ded) adjective
1. without life; not living. a dead body; Throw out those dead flowers.
2. not working and not giving any sign of being about to work. The phone/engine is dead.
3. absolute or complete. There was dead silence at his words; He came to a dead stop.
completely. dead drunk.
ˈdeaden verb
to lessen, weaken or make less sharp, strong etc. That will deaden the pain.
ˈdeadly adjective
1. causing death. a deadly poison.
2. very great. He is in deadly earnest (= He is completely serious).
3. very dull or uninteresting. What a deadly job this is.
extremely. deadly dull; deadly serious.
dead end
a road closed off at one end.
ˈdead-end adjective
leading nowhere. a dead-end job.
dead heat
a race, or a situation happening in a race, in which two or more competitors cross the finishing line together.
dead language
a language no longer spoken, eg Latin.
ˈdeadline noun
a time by which something must be done or finished. Monday is the deadline for handing in this essay.
ˈdeadlock noun
a situation in which no further progress towards an agreement is possible. Talks between the two sides ended in deadlock.

to set a deadline (not dateline) for finishing a job.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
"No," he said, "being a dead language, it grows in appropriateness.
"Have you learned anything at Redmond except dead languages and geometry and such trash?" queried Aunt Jamesina.
It is full of inscriptions in the dead languages, which fact makes me think Hercules could not have traveled much, else he would not have kept a journal.
The dead languages were taught with such thoroughness that an old boy seldom thought of Homer or Virgil in after life without a qualm of boredom; and though in the common room at dinner one or two bolder spirits suggested that mathematics were of increasing importance, the general feeling was that they were a less noble study than the classics.
"No, sir--ladies do not often study the dead languages."
If it is to remain as it is, it ought to be gently and reverently set aside among the dead languages, for only the dead have time to learn it.
One of the traits of the new spirit is the inquisition it fixed on our scholastic devotion to the dead languages. The ancient languages, with great beauty of structure, contain wonderful remains of genius, which draw, and always will draw, certain likeminded men,-- Greek men, and Roman men,--in all countries, to their study; but by a wonderful drowsiness of usage they had exacted the study of all men.
A handy domestic experience is found in the 1950 'Jayatu Sanskritam' movement in Kathmandu that enabled Sanskrit students to go against the Ranas as feudals when their demands for better facilities were met with the Rana prime minister's words that 'Sanskrit was a dead language'.
Swamy further said that Vaiko had grossly insulted the nation by stating that Sanskrit is a dead language and it is useless to learn it, when Article 351 mandates the Sanskrit vocabulary should be used in Hindi.
It felt hidebound as a dead language, pith dried on a sapless tree.
A dead language, however, is closed and ceases to develop.
When it comes to Judeo-Spanish (also labeled Ladino, Sephardic, and Djudeo-espanyol), the catalogue lists 110,000 speakers, that it is spoken in Israel, Salonika, and Turkey and, with regards to it legal status, that "it is not recognized anywhere." Ladino shares this lack of legal recognition with Coptic (deemed a dead language) Aramaic, Corsican, and Romani.