Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

  • Word of the Day
    labyrinthine

    lae b@ rIn thihn  [or]  lae b@ rIn thin

    adjective
    1.  of, resembling, or forming a labyrinth.
    We followed our guide through the labyrinthine catacombs.

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  • Vocabulary of the Day
    landlocked

    laend lakt

    adjective
    lacking access to the sea.
    Paraguay and Bolivia are the only landlocked countries in South America; all the other countries border the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, or both in the case of Colombia.

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Apr
24
2013

loanword

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

lon wuhrd

noun

definition: a word that one language has adopted from another and at least partly naturalized.

English, a Germanic language at its origins, has absorbed words from over 300 languages, with Latin and French as major contributors. The process by which loanwords are adopted into a language is called “borrowing,” despite the fact that these words are never, as it were, given back. The stages in the gradual assimilation of a foreign word into a language are summarized well by linguist Suzanne Kemmer here: Borrowed words in English. Every loanword starts off as simply a “foreign word” with which English-speaking people come into contact and are motivated (for a variety of reasons) to understand or use.