Di"a*lect (?), n. [F. dialecte, L. dialectus, fr. Gr. , fr. to converse, discourse. See Dialogue.]


Means or mode of expressing thoughts; language; tongue; form of speech.

This book is writ in such a dialect As may the minds of listless men affect. Bunyan. The universal dialect of the world. South.


The form of speech of a limited region or people, as distinguished from ether forms nearly related to it; a variety or subdivision of a language; speech characterized by local peculiarities or specific circumstances; as, the Ionic and Attic were dialects of Greece; the Yorkshire dialect; the dialect of the learned.

In the midst of this Babel of dialects there suddenly appeared a standard English language. Earle.

[Charles V.] could address his subjects from every quarter in their native dialect. Prescott.

Syn. -- Language; idiom; tongue; speech; phraseology. See Language, and Idiom.


© Webster 1913.