Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


A simplified form of speech that is usually a mixture of two or more languages, has a rudimentary grammar and vocabulary, is used for communication between groups speaking different languages, and is not spoken as a first or native language. Also called contact language.

pidg′in·i·za′tion n.
pidg′in·ize′ v.
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.


(ˌpɪdʒɪnaɪˈzeɪʃən) or


(Linguistics) the process when a language becomes made up of elements of two or more other languages and used for contacts, esp trading contacts, between the speakers of other languages
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
The Pidginization process: A model for second language acquisition.
Creolization and Pidginization in Contexts of Postcolonial Diversity: Language, Culture, Identity
"Language contact and pidginization in Davis Strait, Hudson Strait, and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence (northeast Canada)." In Erwin H.
Pidginization and language change in emigrant languages.
Gonzo S e Saltarelli M (1983) Pidginization and Linguistic Change in Emigrant Languages.
The pidginization process from which Lingala originated, as well as the highly multilingual ecology in which the Kinshasa variety developed and expanded, can reasonably explain the patterns of simplification and reduction in the domain of grammatical gender that differentiate this variety from other Bantu languages, on the one hand, and from the standardized variety introduced by the missionaries in the northwestern areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Makanza Lingala), on the other (on this account, see also Bokamba 1977, 2009).
Table 2 Examples of idioms due to pidginization Idioms Literal meaning Idiomatic meaning Vb + Vb or V1 + V1 Kari Carry and come Loan form of the pidgin koomu--kari + koomu = English word 'carry carry come come' for: come in/pack.
Interestingly, McKellin (1991) writes of a 'pidginization' of land claim among the neighbouring Managalasi in the 1980s.
Pidginization and Creolization: The Case of Arabic.