Definitions for second language

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word second language

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

sec′ond lan′guage(n.)

  1. a language learned by a person after his or her native language, esp. as a resident of an area where it is in general use.

    Category: Language/Linguistics

  2. a language widely used, esp. in trade, government, and education, in a region where all or most of its speakers are nonnative.

    Category: Language/Linguistics


  1. second language(Noun)

    A language that is spoken by someone but is not their mother tongue.


  1. Second language

    A second language or L2 is any language learned after one's first language. Some languages, often called auxiliary languages, are used primarily as second languages or lingua francas. A person's first language is not necessarily their dominant language, the one they use most or are most comfortable with. For example, the Canadian census defines first language for its purposes as "the first language learned in childhood and still spoken", recognizing that for some, the earliest language may be lost, a process known as language attrition. This can happen when young children move, with or without their family, to a new language environment.


Find a translation for the second language definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these second language definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"second language." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 27 Nov. 2014. < language>.

Are we missing a good definition for second language?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for second language: