🤩 Discover new information from across the web



This page has 24 definitions of English in English. English is an adjective, noun, proper noun and verb. Examples of how to use English in a sentence are shown. Also define these 43 related words and terms: England, language, Anglo-Saxon, Englishmen, Englishwomen, avoirdupois, Amish, film, television, vertical, orientation, barn doors, Chinese, ability, correctly, idiomatically, wording, text, speech, translation, printing, size, type, pica, great primer, standardize, point, Canada, American English, sidespin, pool, billiard, British Isles, Commonwealth of Nations, North America, variety, dialect, idiolect, surname, given name, county seat, Crawford County, and Indiana.

See also: english


Alternative forms


From Middle English Englisch, English, Inglis, from Old English Englisċ (of the Angles; English), from Engle (the Angles), a Germanic tribe +‎ -isċ; equal to Angle +‎ -ish. Compare West Frisian Ingelsk, Scots Inglis (older ynglis), Dutch Engels, Danish engelsk, Old French Englesche (whence French anglais), German englisch, Spanish inglés, all ultimately derived from Proto-Indo-European *h₂enǵʰ- (narrow) (compare Sanskrit अंहु (áṃhu, narrow), अंहस् (áṃhas, anxiety, sin), Latin angustus (narrow), Old Church Slavonic ѫзъкъ (ǫzŭkŭ, narrow)).



English (comparative more English, superlative most English)

  1. Of or pertaining to England.
  2. English-language; of or pertaining to the language, descended from Anglo-Saxon, which developed in England.
    • 2020, Abi Daré, The Girl With The Louding Voice, Sceptre, page 187:
      Honest, honest, English is just a language of confusions.
    Those immigrants Anglicised their names to make them sound more English.
  3. Of or pertaining to the people of England (to Englishmen and Englishwomen).
  4. Of or pertaining to the avoirdupois system of measure.
    an English ton
  5. (Amish) Non-Amish, so named for speaking English rather than a variety of German.
  6. (film, television) Denoting a vertical orientation of the barn doors.
    Coordinate term: Chinese
    • Television definition
      An electronic communication medium that allows the transmission of real-time visual images, and often sound. (1 of 4 television definitions)
    • Orientation definition
      The determination of the relative position of something or someone. (1 of 12 orientation definitions)



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


English (countable and uncountable, plural English or Englishes)

  1. (in the plural) The people of England; Englishmen and Englishwomen.
    The Scottish and the English have a history of conflict.
  2. (Amish, in the plural) The non-Amish; non-Amish people.
  3. (uncountable) Ability to employ the English language correctly or idiomatically.
    My coworkers have pretty good English for non-native speakers.
    • Correctly definition
      In a correct manner.
  4. The English-language term or expression for something.
    What's the English for ‘à peu près’?
  5. (uncountable) Specific language or wording in English; English text or statements in speech, whether in translation or otherwise.
    The technical details are correct, but much of the English is not very clear.
  6. (printing, dated) A size of type between pica (12 point) and great primer (18 point), standardized as 14-point.
    • Standardize definition
      Alternative spelling of standardise
  7. (uncountable) Plain or readily understandable English language.
    • 1994, Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, “All Good Things...”, in Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 7, episode 25-26:
      Data: I have completed my analysis of the anomaly. It appears to be a multi-phasic temporal convergence in the space-time continuum. / Dr. Crusher: In English, Data.
  8. (uncountable) Literature studies as a school subject.
    • 2018, Clarence Green; James Lambert, “Advancing disciplinary literacy through English for academic purposes: Discipline-specific wordlists, collocations and word families for eight secondary subjects”, in Journal of English for Academic Purposes, volume 35, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2018.07.004, page 109:
      This reflects that in English, students learn a range of text types, such as procedures, editorials, poetry, and not just academic essays.
  9. (uncountable, Canada, US) Spin or sidespin given to a ball, especially in pool or billiards.
    You are trying to put too much English on the ball.
    • Sidespin definition
      Rotation around a vertical axis that makes a ball or other object curve in flight
    • Pool definition
      A small and rather deep area of (usually) fresh water, as one supplied by a spring, or occurring in the course of a stream or river; a reservoir for water. (1 of 7 pool definitions)

Usage notes

  • The people as a collective noun require the definite article "the" or a demonstrative adjective. Hence: "The English are coming!" or "Oh, those English, always drinking their tea..."


Coordinate terms

Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Proper noun

English (countable and uncountable, plural Englishes)

  1. The language originating in England but now spoken in all parts of the British Isles, the Commonwealth of Nations, North America, and other parts of the world.
    English is spoken here as an unofficial language and lingua franca.
    How do you say ‘à peu près’ in English?
  2. A variety, dialect, or idiolect of spoken and or written English.
    • 2003, Amy Tan, "Mother Tongue", in The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, page 278
      I began to write stories using all the Englishes I grew up with: the English I spoke to my mother, which for lack of a better term might be described as “simple”; the English she used with me, which for lack of a better term might be described as “broken”; my translation of her Chinese, which could certainly be described as “watered down”; and what I imagined to be her translation of her Chinese if she could speak in perfect English, her internal language, and for that I sought to preserve the essence, but neither an English nor a Chinese structure.
  3. English language, literature, composition as a subject of study
  4. An English surname originally denoting a non-Celtic or non-Danish person in Britain.
  5. A male or female given name
  6. A town, the county seat of Crawford County, Indiana; named for Indiana statesman William Hayden English.
    • County Seat definition
      The city in which the offices of county government are located.


Usage notes

  • As with the names of almost all languages, English, when it means "the English language", does not usually require an article. Hence: "Say it in plain English!"


Derived terms

Terms derived from English (adjective and noun)
Terms derived from English (noun)
Terms derived from English (adjective)
Terms derived from English (verb)


English (third-person singular simple present Englishes, present participle Englishing, simple past and past participle Englished)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To translate, adapt or render into English.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970:
      , page 214 (2001 reprint):
      [] severe prohibuit viris suis tum misceri feminas in consuetis suis menstruis, etc. I spare to English this which I have said.
    • 1901, The Speaker, the Liberal Review - Volume 3, page 654:
      Mamma is an adaptation of a French farce by Mr. Sydney Grundy, made in the time when his chief claim to recognition as a playwright lay in his ingenious aptitude for Englishing the un-Englishable.
    • 2011, Colin Cheney, 'Where Should I Start with Tomas Tranströmer?':
      Here, the poems are Englished by twelve different translators

See also


Further reading