Old English

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World English Dictionary
Old English
 
n
1.  Middle English Compare Modern English Also called: Anglo-Saxon, OE 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
2.  printing a Gothic typeface commonly used in England up until the 18th century

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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.
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