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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A medium of communication between peoples of different languages.
  • n. A mixture of Italian with Provençal, French, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, and Turkish, formerly spoken on the eastern Mediterranean coast.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a common language used by people of diverse backgrounds to communicate with one another, often a basic form of speech with simplified grammar

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The commercial language of the Levant, -- a mixture of the languages of the people of the region and of foreign traders.
  • n. Any hybrid or other language used over a wide area as a common or commercial tongue among peoples of different speech.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a common language used by speakers of different languages


Italian : lingua, language + franca, Frankish (that is, European).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian lingua franca ("Frankish language") (Wiktionary)


  • An entirely different situation occurs with another lingua franca, one that also employs words from Indo-European languages but whose core is non-Indo-European: Swahili.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Lingua Franca, or rather any of a number of related pidgins descended from Latin, eventually became lingua franca, any language that speakers use as a common tongue.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Gold was god enough for the Romans and silver served as both lingua franca and raison d'être for the Roman eagle and the might of legions.

    What is truth? Throwing stones in a wilderness of mirrors

  • Fortunately, English is the lingua franca, but of course speaking the local language helps.

    Don’t Bring Home a White Boy

  • The scroll was in French, although their intercourse had hitherto been conducted by Richard in the lingua franca.

    The Talisman

  • In short, there already is a lingua franca, it's out there as LL, OSRIC, C&C and BFRP, all that remains is for us to use the language and stop seeking a new dialect.

    Universal System

  • This seems to go double when the immigrant parents aren't native speakers of their new home's lingua franca and the local-born kids are native speakers of it.

    Obama's Reverend Wright

  • For example, the lingua franca in this future is Spanish.

    Archive 2008-04-01

  • There are a half-dozen thriving newspapers in English odd sight these days; that is the lingua franca.

    Where is Dubai? « BuzzMachine

  • Any lingua franca has this role, but a global one most of all.

    Archive 2006-12-01


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