follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

slang1

[slang] /slæŋ/
noun
1.
very informal usage in vocabulary and idiom that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, elliptical, vivid, and ephemeral than ordinary language, as Hit the road.
2.
(in English and some other languages) speech and writing characterized by the use of vulgar and socially taboo vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.
3.
the jargon of a particular class, profession, etc.
4.
the special vocabulary of thieves, vagabonds, etc.; argot.
verb (used without object)
5.
to use slang or abusive language.
verb (used with object)
6.
to assail with abusive language.
Origin
1750-1760
1750-60; origin uncertain
Synonyms
4. cant.
Usage note
See informal.

slang2

[slang] /slæŋ/
verb, Nonstandard.
1.
simple past tense of sling1 .

slang dictionary

noun
1.
a specialized dictionary covering the words, phrases, and idioms that reflect the least formal speech of a language. These terms are often metaphorical and playful, and are likely to be evanescent as the spoken language changes from one generation to another. Much slang belongs to specific groups, as the jargon of a particular class, profession, or age group. Some is vulgar. Some slang terms have staying power as slang, but others make a transition into common informal speech, and then into the standard language. An online slang dictionary, such as the Dictionary.com Slang Dictionary, provides immediate information about the meaning and history of a queried term and its appropriateness or lack of appropriateness in a range of social and professional circumstances.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for slang
  • The slang use of iced connotes bejeweled or monolithic gestures.
  • In fact, local slang seems to be evolving within the social-media site.
  • In the law is to be noticed a growing impatience with formulas, and with diffuseness, and venerable slang.
  • Be neither too lax nor too precise in your use of language: the one fault ends in stiffness, the other in slang.
  • The fact that slang is apt and forceful makes its use irresistibly tempting.
  • In other words, he has employed an imagery as vulgar as the slang of the tavern can make it.
  • He can avoid the use of those pedantic terms which are really nothing but offensive and, fortunately, ephemeral scientific slang.
  • It makes me wonder if various illegal drugs have different slang names in various parts of the country.
  • Years later he was still peppering his speech with officer-caste slang.
  • Even ninety years ago, people liked slang dictionaries.
British Dictionary definitions for slang

slang

/slæŋ/
noun
1.
  1. vocabulary, idiom, etc, that is not appropriate to the standard form of a language or to formal contexts, may be restricted as to social status or distribution, and is characteristically more metaphorical and transitory than standard language
  2. (as modifier): a slang word
2.
another word for jargon1
verb
3.
to abuse (someone) with vituperative language; insult
Derived Forms
slangy, adjective
slangily, adverb
slanginess, noun
Word Origin
C18: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for slang
n.

1756, "special vocabulary of tramps or thieves," later "jargon of a particular profession" (1801), of uncertain origin, the usual guess being that it is from a Scandinavian source, cf. Norwegian slengenamn "nickname," slengja kjeften "to abuse with words," literally "to sling the jaw," related to Old Norse slyngva "to sling." But OED, while admitting "some approximation in sense," discounts this connection based on "date and early associations." Liberman also denies it, as well as any connection with French langue (or language or lingo). Rather, he derives it elaborately from an old slang word meaning "narrow piece of land," itself of obscure origin. Century Dictionary says "there is no evidence to establish a Gipsy origin." Sense of "very informal language characterized by vividness and novelty" first recorded 1818.

[S]lang is a conscious offence against some conventional standard of propriety. A mere vulgarism is not slang, except when it is purposely adopted, and acquires an artificial currency, among some class of persons to whom it is not native. The other distinctive feature of slang is that it is neither part of the ordinary language, nor an attempt to supply its deficiencies. The slang word is a deliberate substitute for a word of the vernacular, just as the characters of a cipher are substitutes for the letters of the alphabet, or as a nickname is a substitute for a personal name. [Henry Bradley, from "Slang," in "Encyclopedia Britannica," 11th ed.]
A word that ought to have survived is slangwhanger (1807, American English) "noisy or abusive talker or writer."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
slang in Culture

slang definition


Expressions that do not belong to standard written English. For example, “flipping out” is slang for “losing one's mind” or “losing one's temper.” Slang expressions are usually inappropriate in formal speech or writing. (See jargon.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for slang

slang

noun

A style or register of language consisting of terms that can be substituted for standard terms of the same conceptual meaning but having stronger emotive impact than the standard terms, in order to express an attitude of self-assertion toward conventional order and moral authority and often an affinity with or membership in occupational, ethnic, or other social groups, and ranging in acceptability from sexual and scatological crudity to audacious wittiness (see Preface)

[mid-1700s+ British; origin unknown; probably related to sling, which has cognates in Norwegian that suggest the abusive nature of slang; the British dialect original term slang meant both ''a kind of projectile-hurling weapon'' and ''the language of thieves and vagabonds,'' reinforcing the connection with ''sling'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
slang in Technology


1. R.A. Sibley. CACM 4(1):75-84 (Jan 1961).
2. Set LANGuage. Jastrzebowski, ca 1990. C extension with set-theoretic data types and garbage collection. "The SLANG Programming Language Reference Manual, Version 3.3", W. Jastrzebowski , 1990.
3. Structured LANGuage. Michael Kessler, IBM. A language based on structured programming macros for IBM 370 assembly language. "Project RMAG: SLANG (Structured Language) Compiler", R.A. Magnuson, NIH-DCRT-DMB-SSS-UG105, NIH, DHEW, Bethesda, MD 20205 (1980).
4. "SLANG: A Problem Solving Language for Continuous-Model Simulation and Optimisation", J.M. Thames, Proc 24th ACM Natl Conf 1969.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for slang

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for slang

6
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with slang

Nearby words for slang