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Glossary of Linguistics Terms
beginning with letter B
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babble Tweet Definition of babble Like Definition of babble on Facebook
noun
  1. idle, Idle talk; senseless prattle; gabble; twaddle.
    • "This is mere moral ." Milton.
      1. inarticulate, Inarticulate speech, such as was used at the building the tower of Babel; constant or confused murmur.
      Quotations
    • The of our young children. - Darwin.
    • The of the stream. - Tennyson.
      1. A sound of or alike that which of flowing water.
verb (babbl, ing)
  1. (intransitive) To utter words indistinctly or unintelligibly; to utter inarticulate sounds; as, a child babbles.
  2. (intransitive) To talk incoherently; to utter unmeaning words.
  3. (intransitive) To talk much; to chatter; to prate.
  4. (intransitive) To make a continuous murmuring noise, as shallow water running over stones.
  • In every babbling brook he finds a friend. - Wordsworth.
Hounds are said to babble, or to be babbling, when they are too noisy after having found a good scent.
  1. (transitive) To utter in an indistinct or incoherent way; to repeat, as words, in a childish way without understanding.
These words he used to in all companies. - Arbuthnot.
  1. (transitive) To disclose by too free talk, as a secret.
babbling Tweet Definition of babbling Like Definition of babbling on Facebook
verb
  1. (present participle of, babble)
baby talk Tweet Definition of baby talk Like Definition of baby talk on Facebook
noun
  1. the form of speech used by adults in talking to very young children
back formation Tweet Definition of back formation Like Definition of back formation on Facebook
noun
  1. (linguistics): see back-formation.
barbarism Tweet Definition of barbarism Like Definition of barbarism on Facebook
noun (Plural:barbarisms)
  1. A barbaric act.
    These barbarisms can not be allowed to continue, they must be crushed or civilization will collapse.
    1. The condition of existing barbarically.
    • 1879, William Tecumseh Sherman, Address to the Michigan Military Academy
    • :War is at best barbarism...It's glory is all moonshine.
    • An error in language use within a single word, such as a mispronunciation.
    • 2002, Hyman, Bad Grammar in Context, New England Classical Journal, 29, p. 94-101
    • : In the jargon of the ancient grammarian, penacilin would be a .
basilect Tweet Definition of basilect Like Definition of basilect on Facebook
noun
  1. (linguistics) a variety of a language that has diverged greatly from the standard form
BET Tweet Definition of BET Like Definition of BET on Facebook
initialism
  1. (analytical chemistry) A nitrogen adsorption technique used to measure the specific surface area of a solid.
Beta Tweet Definition of Beta Like Definition of Beta on Facebook
proper noun
  1. Betamax.
Beth Tweet Definition of Beth Like Definition of Beth on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (given name, female) popular as a middle name, a short form of Elizabeth and, rarely, of Bethany.
bidialectal Tweet Definition of bidialectal Like Definition of bidialectal on Facebook
adjective
  1. using or capable of using two dialects of a language
bilingual Tweet Definition of bilingual Like Definition of bilingual on Facebook
adjective
  1. Having the ability to speak two languages.
  2. (context, by misuse) Having the ability to speak a foreign language, if barely fluent in the language of one's environment.
  3. Spoken or written in two different languages:
    • a bilingual dictionary
bound Tweet Definition of bound Like Definition of bound on Facebook
noun
  1. (often used in plural) The border of a territory, which one must cross in order to enter or leave the territory.
I reached the northern bound of my property, took a deep breath, and walked on.
Somewhere within these bounds you may find a buried treasure.
  1. (mathematics) a value which is known to be greater or smaller than a given set of values
verb
  1. (past of, bind)
I the splint to my leg.
I had the splint with duct tape.
adjective
  1. (obsolete) ready, Ready, prepared.
  2. Ready to start or go (to); moving in the direction (of).
Is that message bound for me?
Which way are you bound?
The leaking fuel tank was bound to explode sooner or later.
  1. Constrained by something, or constrained to something
He was bound to his chair.
Because of his oath, he was bound to follow the king's command.
boustrophedon Tweet Definition of boustrophedon Like Definition of boustrophedon on Facebook
adjective
  1. written from right-to-left and left-to-right on alternate lines
  2. (figurative): changing direction, going back and forth
adverb
  1. of writing, in a fashion such that the reading direction changes from right-to-left to left-to-right every line.
Braille Tweet Definition of Braille Like Definition of Braille on Facebook
nounor (especially US) braille
  1. A system of writing invented by w:Louis Braille, Louis Braille, in which letters and some combinations of letters are represented by raised dots arranged in three rows of two dots each and are read by the blind and partially sighted using the fingertips.
adjective
  1. Of, relating to or written in Braille.
branch Tweet Definition of branch Like Definition of branch on Facebook
noun
  1. The woody part of a tree arising from the trunk and usually dividing
  2. Something that divides like the branch of a tree
  3. A location of an organization with several locations.
Our main branch is downtown, and we have branches in all major suburbs.
  1. (context, Mormonism) A subdivision of the LDS Church, smaller than and part of a stake, but smaller than a ward.
  2. An area in business or of knowledge, research
  3. (nautical) The certificate given by Trinity House to a pilot qualified to take navigational control of a ship in British waters
verb (branch, es)
  1. (context, intransitive) To arise from the trunk or a larger branch of a tree.
  2. (context, intransitive) To produce branches.
  3. (context, intransitive, computing) To jump to a different location in a program, especially as the result of a conditional statement.
break Tweet Definition of break Like Definition of break on Facebook
noun
  1. (countable) An instance of breaking something into two pieces.
The femur has a clean and so should heal easily.
  1. (countable) A physical space that open up, opens up in something or between two things.
The sun came out in a in the clouds.
  1. (countable) A rest or pause, usually from work.
Let"s take a five-minute .
  1. (countable) (tennis) (tennis) A game won by the receive, receiving player or players (in case of a double).
  2. (countable) (context, billiards) The first shot in a game of billiards
  3. (countable) (context, snooker) The number of points scored by one player in one visit to the table
  4. (countable) (surfing) Place where waves break (ie. pitch or spill forward creating white water).
2005: The final in the Greenmount area is Kirra Point. — coolangatta.net http://www.coolangatta.net/coolangatta/surfbreaks.html
verb (breaks, breaking, broke, broken)
  1. (intransitive) To end up in two or more pieces that can't easily be reassembled.
If the vase falls to the floor, it might .
  1. (intransitive) (medicine) Of a bone, to crack or fracture through a sudden physical strain, such as a collision.
Don't slip and your leg.
  1. (intransitive) To stop functioning properly or altogether.
Don't the fridge with your tools.
  1. (intransitive) To interrupt or cease one's work or occupation temporarily.
Let's for lunch.
  1. (intransitive) (tennis) To win a game as receiver.
  2. (intransitive) (context, sports, billiards, snooker, pool) To make the first shot.
Is it your or my turn to ?
  1. (transitive) To cause to end up in two or more pieces.
I am going to your mask.
  1. (transitive) (medicine) (ergative) Of a bone, to cause to crack under physical strain.
Don't try to his neck.
  1. (transitive) (medicine) (ergative) Of a bone, to fracture accidentally.
Don't your fingers playing basketball.
  1. (transitive) (ergative) To cause to malfunction or stop working altogether.
Did you two the trolley by racing with it?
  1. (transitive) To cause a person or animal to lose his/her/its will, usually obtained by means of torture.
You have to an elephant before you can use it as an animal of burden.
America has used many forms of torture to their POWs.
  1. (transitive) To do that which is forbidden by (a rule or rules).
When you go to Vancouver, promise me you won't the law.
  1. (transitive) (gaming slang) To design or use a powerful (yet legal) strategy that unbalances the game in a player's favor.
Letting white have three extra queens would chess.
  1. (transitive) (media) (ergative) to disclose or make known an item of news etc
brogue Tweet Definition of brogue Like Definition of brogue on Facebook
noun
  1. Gaelic term for a strong dialectal accent. In Ireland it used to be a term for Erse spoken with a strong English accent, but gradually changed to mean English spoken with a strong Irish accent as English control of Ireland gradually increased and Erse waned as the standard language.
  2. A strong oxford shoe, usually with ornamental perforations and wing tips.
  3. (formerly) A heavy shoe of untanned leather. Also: Brogan.
bundle Tweet Definition of bundle Like Definition of bundle on Facebook
noun
  1. A group of objects held together by wrapping or tying.
  2. A package wrapped or tied up for carrying.
  3. (biology) A cluster of closely bound muscle or nerve fibres.
  4. (colloquial) A large amount, especially of money.
  5. A prank where many people jump (from ground level) on top of their victim(s).
verb (bundles, bundling, bundled)
  1. To tie or wrap together.
  2. To hustle; to dispatch something or someone quickly.
  3. To dress someone warmly.
  4. (computing) To sell hardware and software as a single product.
  5. (intransitive) To hurry.
  6. (intransitive) To dress warmly.

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