Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

What is the origin of "February"?

mother tongue

[muhth -er tuhng for 1; muhth -er tuhng for 2] /ˈmʌð ər ˈtʌŋ for 1; ˈmʌð ər ˌtʌŋ for 2/
noun
1.
the language first learned by a person; native language.
Origin of mother tongue
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English moder tonge
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for mother-tongue
Historical Examples
  • Each long, perfect day rose behind Kim for a barrier to cut him off from his race and his mother-tongue.

    Kim Rudyard Kipling
  • She could already speak French and Italian as fluently as her mother-tongue.

    History of the English People John Richard Green
  • For in this part of Turkey their mother-tongue is the language of their oppressors—the badge of servitude.

    The Red Rugs of Tarsus Helen Davenport Gibbons
  • What, if we will think of it, could he know of his first mother-tongue!

  • Here they must have remained long enough to have developed their admirable language, the mother-tongue of those which we know.

    Ten Great Religions James Freeman Clarke
  • It was to him a marvel that these people's mother-tongue was Slav.

  • The truth is that everyone is entered according to his mother-tongue.

  • He even smiled a little at his adoption of his adversary's mother-tongue.

    Brothers of Peril Theodore Goodridge Roberts
  • Dyslalia continues with many children a long time even after the learning of the mother-tongue.

  • Often priest and teachers have been imported, and only the mother-tongue is used.

    The Old World in the New Edward Alsworth Ross
British Dictionary definitions for mother-tongue

mother tongue

noun
1.
the language first learned by a child
2.
a language from which another has evolved
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
Contemporary definitions for mother-tongue
noun
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for mother tongue

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for mother

11
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for mother-tongue