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; equivalent to Engle +‎ -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)).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɪŋɡlɪʃ/, (non-standard) /ˈɪŋɡəlɪʃ/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɪŋɡlɪʃ/, (also) /ˈɪŋlɪʃ/
  • (file)
  • (General Australian) IPA(key): /ˈɪŋɡləʃ/
  • Hyphenation: Eng‧lish
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋɡlɪʃ


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.
    Those immigrants Anglicised their names to make them sound more English.
    • 2020, Abi Daré, The Girl With The Louding Voice, Sceptre, page 187:
      Honest, honest, English is just a language of confusions.
  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




The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


English (countable and uncountable, plural English or Englishes)

  1. (in the plural) The people of England, Englishmen and Englishwomen.
    • 1979, Stormont Mancroft, Bees in Some Bonnets, p. 175:
      Cricket—a game which the English, not being a spiritual people, have invented in order to give themselves some conception of eternity.
    The English and the ROTW have a long history of conflict, periodically interrupted for tea.
  2. (Amish, in the plural) The non-Amish, people outside the Amish faith and community.
  3. (uncountable) Facility with the English language, ability to employ English correctly and idiomatically.
    Sorry, my English isn't very good.
  4. (uncountable) A particular instance of the English language, including
    1. The English term or expression for some thing or idea.
      What's the English for 'à peu près'? It depends: how is it being used?
    2. The English text or phrasing of some spoken or written communication.
      The specs are all correct, but the English in the instructions isn't as clear as it should be.
    3. A clear and readily understandable expression of some idea in English.
      • 1994, Brannon Braga, Ronald D. Moore, “All Good Things...”, in Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 7, episodes 25-26, Brent Spiner and Gates McFadden (actors):
        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.
      Thank you, doctor. Now, please say that again in English.
    4. Synonym of language arts, the class dedicated to improving primary and secondary school students' mastery of English and the material taught in such classes.
      • 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, page 109:
        This reflects that in English, students learn a range of text types, such as procedures, editorials, poetry, and not just academic essays.
      I loved reading until 7th grade English.
  5. (printing, dated) A size of type between pica (12 point) and great primer (18 point), standardized as 14-point.
  6. (uncountable, Canada, US) Alternative form of english.
    You are putting too much English on the ball.

Usage notes

The use of the plural form Englishes occurred in early modern English but is only seldomly and exceptionally encountered in contemporary English. As with other collective demonyms, English is preceded by the definite article or some other determiner when referring to the people of England collectively.


Coordinate terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Proper noun

English (countable and uncountable, plural Englishes)

 English (surname) on Wikipedia
 English (places) on Wikipedia
  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.
    Hyponyms: see Thesaurus:English language
    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 number of places in the United States:
    1. A town, the county seat of Crawford County, Indiana; named for Indiana statesman William Hayden English.
    2. An unincorporated community in Carroll County, Kentucky.
    3. An unincorporated community in Brazoria County, Texas.
    4. An unincorporated community in Red River County, Texas.
    5. An unincorporated community in McDowell County, West Virginia.

Usage notes

(language spoken in British Isles, North America, etc.):

  • 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!"


(language spoken in British Isles, North America, etc.):


See also Thesaurus:English language

(language spoken in British Isles, North America, etc.):


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 or rare) 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:
      , 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