What does English mean?

Definitions for English
ˈɪŋ glɪʃ or, often, -lɪʃeng·lish

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word English.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. English, English languagenoun

    an Indo-European language belonging to the West Germanic branch; the official language of Britain and the United States and most of the commonwealth countries

  2. English, English peoplenoun

    the people of England

  3. Englishnoun

    the discipline that studies the English language and literature

  4. English, sideadjective

    (sports) the spin given to a ball by striking it on one side or releasing it with a sharp twist

  5. Englishadjective

    of or relating to or characteristic of England or its culture or people

    "English history"; "the English landed aristocracy"; "English literature"

  6. Englishadjective

    of or relating to the English language


  1. Englishnoun

    One's ability to employ the English language correctly.

    You can't hit it directly, but maybe if you give it some english.

  2. Englishnoun

    The English-language term or expression for something.

    What's the English for u00E0 peu pru00E8s'?

  3. Englishnoun

    Specific language or wording; a text or statements in speech, whether a translation or otherwise.

    The technical details are correct, but the English is not very clear.

  4. Englishnoun

    (countable) A regional type of spoken and or written English; a dialect.

  5. Englishverb

    To translate, adapt or render into English.

  6. Englishadjective

    English-language; of or pertaining to the English language.

  7. Englishadjective

    Of or pertaining to England or its people.

  8. Englishadjective

    Of or pertaining to an Englishman or Englishwoman.

  9. Englishadjective

    Of or pertaining to the avoirdupois system of measure.

    an English ton

  10. Englishnoun

    The language originating in England but now spoken in all parts of the British Isles, the Commonwealth of Nations, the United States of America, and other parts of the world.

    English is spoken here as an unofficial language and lingua franca.

  11. Englishnoun

    (collective plural) The people of England; Englishmen and Englishwomen.

    The Scottish and English have a history of conflict.

  12. englishnoun

    Spinning or rotary motion given to a ball around the vertical axis, as in billiards or bowling.

    You can't hit it directly, but maybe if you give it some english.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ENGLISHadjective

    Belonging to England; thence English is the language of England.

    Etymology: engles, Saxon.

    He hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian; and you may come into the court, and swear that I have a poor pennyworth in the English. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    Of English talc, the coarser sort is called plaister, or parget; the finer, spoad. John Woodward.

  2. To Englishverb

    To translate into English.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    We find not a word in the text can properly be rendered anise, which is what the Latins call anethum, and properly Englished dill. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours, b. vii. c. 7.


  1. English

    English refers to the West Germanic language primarily spoken in countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and various other nations. It is also one of the official or widely spoken languages in many former British colonies and territories. English is characterized by a combination of Latin, Germanic, and French influences, and it has become a global language of communication, trade, science, technology, and education.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Englishadjective

    of or pertaining to England, or to its inhabitants, or to the present so-called Anglo-Saxon race

  2. Englishadjective

    see 1st Bond, n., 8

  3. Englishnoun

    collectively, the people of England; English people or persons

  4. Englishnoun

    the language of England or of the English nation, and of their descendants in America, India, and other countries

  5. Englishnoun

    a kind of printing type, in size between Pica and Great Primer. See Type

  6. Englishnoun

    a twist or spinning motion given to a ball in striking it that influences the direction it will take after touching a cushion or another ball

  7. Englishverb

    to translate into the English language; to Anglicize; hence, to interpret; to explain

  8. Englishverb

    to strike (the cue ball) in such a manner as to give it in addition to its forward motion a spinning motion, that influences its direction after impact on another ball or the cushion

  9. Etymology: [AS. Englisc, fr. Engle, Angle, Engles, Angles, a tribe of Germans from the southeast of Sleswick, in Denmark, who settled in Britain and gave it the name of England. Cf. Anglican.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. English

    ing′glish, adj. belonging to England or its inhabitants.—n. the language of the people of England.—v.t. to translate a book into English: to make English.—ns. Eng′lander, an Englishman; Eng′lisher, Eng′lishman, a native or naturalised inhabitant of England; Eng′lishry, the fact of being an Englishman; in Ireland, the population of English descent.—Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, the language spoken in England from 450 till about 1150; Middle English till 1500; Modern English from 1500 onwards (Early English often means Early Middle English; (archit.), see Early).—Presentment of Englishry, the offering of proof that a person murdered belonged to the English race, to escape the fine levied on the hundred or township for the murder of a Norman. [A.S. Englisc, from Engle, Angle, from the Angles who settled in Britain.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. English

    1. n. obs. The source code for a program, which may be in any language, as opposed to the linkable or executable binary produced from it by a compiler. The idea behind the term is that to a real hacker, a program written in his favorite programming language is at least as readable as English. Usage: mostly by old-time hackers, though recognizable in context. Today the preferred shorthand is simply source. 2. The official name of the database language used by the old Pick Operating System, actually a sort of crufty, brain-damaged SQL with delusions of grandeur. The name permitted marketroids to say “Yes, and you can program our computers in English!” to ignorant suits without quite running afoul of the truth-in-advertising laws.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. english

    A term applied to the vessels and men of the whole empire, and its maritime population. "Indeed," says Burke in a letter to Admiral Keppel, "I am perfectly convinced that Englishman and seaman are names that must live and die together."

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, English is ranked #748 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The English surname appeared 46,393 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 16 would have the surname English.

    71.3% or 33,111 total occurrences were White.
    22.4% or 10,401 total occurrences were Black.
    2.4% or 1,151 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    2.4% or 1,132 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    0.7% or 334 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.5% or 264 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'English' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #619

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'English' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1342

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'English' in Nouns Frequency: #587

  4. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'English' in Adjectives Frequency: #75

How to pronounce English?

How to say English in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of English in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of English in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of English in a Sentence

  1. William Shakespeare:

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, Or close the wall up with our English dead In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.

  2. Jeb Bush:

    At least you can speak English.

  3. Jennifer Parker:

    Google Translate doesn't have Dari on it, so it's been an experience with that. So, a lot of hand gestures, pictures. I feel like we're playing a game of charades on a daily basis. But it's little things to get them to understand. And now they've started to understand, last week, Muzhdah actually said a full sentence in English.

  4. Christina Pacala:

    My husband and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Riley, into the world in October 2020, shortly after Riley's birth through a series of tests with an audiologist, we learned that Riley is deaf.We've made it our goal to give Riley access to as many tools as possible to help her communication and development – that includes giving her access to both American Sign Language, and spoken English.

  5. Jeb Bush:

    You tell me if this is amnesty, you come out from the shadows. You receive a provisional work permit. You pay taxes. You don't receive federal government assistance. You learn English ...You work.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for English

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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