follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

Old English

noun
1.
Also called Anglo-Saxon. the English language of a.d. c450–c1150.
Abbreviation: OE.
2.
Printing. a style of black letter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for Old English

Old English

noun
1.
Also called Anglo-Saxon. the English language from the time of the earliest settlements in the fifth century ad to about 1100. The main dialects were West Saxon (the chief literary form), Kentish, and Anglian OE Compare Middle English, Modern English
2.
(printing) a Gothic typeface commonly used in England up until the 18th century
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
Old English in Culture

Old English definition


The English language from the fifth century until about 1150. In the fifth century, the Angles and Saxons of Germany settled in Britain and established their language in the southern part of the island — the region that was called “Angle-land,” or “England.” After 1150, the Norman French language introduced after the Norman Conquest influenced Old English, and Middle English developed.

Note: Old English resembles the language spoken in Germany in the same period and is impossible for a present-day user of English to read without training. Beowulf is written in Old English.
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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for Old English

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for Old

4
5
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with Old English