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Glossary of Linguistics Terms
beginning with letter D
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daleth Tweet Definition of daleth Like Definition of daleth on Facebook
  1. The fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, �.
dead Tweet Definition of dead Like Definition of dead on Facebook
noun (pl=dead)
  1. (singular) Time when coldness, darkness, or stillness is most intense.
The of night. The of winter.
  1. (plural) Those who have died.
Have respect for the .
verb (dead, ed)
  1. (transitive) to prevent by disabling; stop
    • 1826: The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Edward Reynolds, Lord Bishop of Norwich, collected by Edward Reynolds, Benedict Riveley, and Alexander Chalmers. pp. 227. London: B. Holdsworth.
    • : "What a man should do, when finds his natural impotency him in spiritual works"
adjective (er, est)
  1. (notcomp) Not alive; lacking life; no longer living.
All of my grandparents are .
  1. (notcomp) (italbrac, Of another person) So hated by that they are absolutely ignored.
He is to me.
  1. (notcomp) Fully and completely motionless.
Come to a stop.
  1. Without emotion.
She stood with face and limp arms, unresponsive to my plea.
  1. (notcomp) (italbrac, Of a machine, device, or electrical circuit) Completely inactive; without power.
Ok, the circuit"s . Go ahead and cut the wire.
Now that the motor"s you can reach in and extract the spark plugs.
  1. (notcomp) broken, Broken or inoperable.
That monitor is ; don"t bother hooking it up.
  1. (notcomp) obsolete, Obsolete or no longer used or required.
There are several laws still on the books regulating where horses may be hitched.
Is this beer glass ?
  1. (notcomp) (sports) Not in play.
Once the ball crosses the foul line, it"s .
  1. (notcomp) (context, baseball, slang) An 1800s baseball term meaning a player who is tagged out.
  1. exact, Exactly right.
He hit the target in the centre.
  1. (slang) very, Very, absolutely, extremely, suddenly.
She"s sexy.
He"s stupid.
I"m tired.
That"s sure!
deaf Tweet Definition of deaf Like Definition of deaf on Facebook
noun the deaf singular collective noun
  1. Deaf people considered as a group.
  1. Not having the faculty of hearing, or only partially able to hear.
deaf-mute Tweet Definition of deaf-mute Like Definition of deaf-mute on Facebook
  1. A person who is unable to hear or speak.
adjective (pos=deaf-mute, -)
  1. Unable to hear or speak
decode Tweet Definition of decode Like Definition of decode on Facebook
verb (decod, ing)
  1. To convert from an encrypted form to plain text.
The cryptographer decoded the secret message and sent the result to the officer.
  1. To figure out something difficult to interpret.
I finally managed to the nearly illegible doctor's prescription.
demotic Tweet Definition of demotic Like Definition of demotic on Facebook
  1. Of or for the common people.
  2. Of, relating to, or written in the vulgar form of ancient Egyptian hieratic writing.
demotic script is a simplified, cursive form of hieroglyphs used in ancient egypt.
  1. Of, relating to, or written in the form of modern vernacular Greek.
demotic Greek
denotation Tweet Definition of denotation Like Definition of denotation on Facebook
  1. The act of denoting, or something (such as a symbol) that denotes.
  2. The primary or explicit meaning of a word, phrase or symbol.
  3. Something signified or referred to; a particular meaning of a symbol.
Devanagari Tweet Definition of Devanagari Like Definition of Devanagari on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. A script used to write several Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Konkani, and Bhojpuri. It is also used to write Nepali in Nepal. It is an abugida writing system (not properly called an alphabet) because the base consonant characters include a default schwa vowel sound unless it is modified or removed.
  1. Of the Devanagari script or of a Devanagari alphabet.
diachronic Tweet Definition of diachronic Like Definition of diachronic on Facebook
  1. occuring or changing along with time
    • " salient value of archival magazine preservation is that individual issues register, however unintentionally, the small, incremental, movements within a culture." — Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2005
      Diachronic linguistics is the study of language change; it is also called historical linguistics.
diachrony Tweet Definition of diachrony Like Definition of diachrony on Facebook
  1. The study of change over time, especially changes to language
dialect Tweet Definition of dialect Like Definition of dialect on Facebook
  1. A variety of a language (specifically, often a spoken variety) that is characteristic of a particular area, community or group, often with relatively minor differences in vocabulary, style, spelling and pronunciation.
A language is a with an army and a navy.
dialectal Tweet Definition of dialectal Like Definition of dialectal on Facebook
  1. Of or relating to a dialect, i.e. not linguistically standard.
dialectical Tweet Definition of dialectical Like Definition of dialectical on Facebook
  1. of dialectic; in the manner of dialectic
dialectology Tweet Definition of dialectology Like Definition of dialectology on Facebook
  1. the study of dialects
diasystem Tweet Definition of diasystem Like Definition of diasystem on Facebook
  1. (linguistics) a language that has two distinct forms
diglossia Tweet Definition of diglossia Like Definition of diglossia on Facebook
  1. (linguistics) the coexistence of two closely related native languages among a certain population one of whom is regarded to be more respectable than the other
digraph Tweet Definition of digraph Like Definition of digraph on Facebook
  1. A pair of letters, especially a pair representing a single phoneme, such as sh (representing the phoneme /�/).
discourse Tweet Definition of discourse Like Definition of discourse on Facebook
  1. (context, uncountable, archaic) Verbal exchange, conversation.
  2. (uncountable) verbal, Verbal expression, either in speech or writing.
  3. (countable) A formal lengthy exposition of some subject, either spoken or written.
  4. (context, social sciences, countable) An institutionalized way of thinking, a social boundary defining what can be said about a specific topic (after w:Michel Foucault, Michel Foucault).
verb (discours, ing)
  1. (intransitive) To engage in discussion or conversation; to converse.
  2. (intransitive) To write or speak formally and at length.
Doric Tweet Definition of Doric Like Definition of Doric on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. An ancient Greek dialect spoken in ancient times.
  2. A dialect of Lowland Scots spoken in the northeast of Scotland.
doublet Tweet Definition of doublet Like Definition of doublet on Facebook
  1. a man"s close-fitting jacket, with or without sleeves. Men in Europe wore doublets from the 1400s to the 1600s.
  2. a pair of two similar or equal things; couple.
  3. one of two or more different words in a language derived from the same origin but coming by different routes.
  4. An imitation gem made of two pieces of glass or crystal with a layer of color between them.
  5. (printing, US) A word or phrase set a second time by mistake.
  6. (quantum mechanics) A quantum state of a system with a spin of 1/2, such that there are two allowed values of the spin component, -1/2 and +1/2.
drift Tweet Definition of drift Like Definition of drift on Facebook
  1. The act or motion of drifting; the force which impels or drives; an overpowering influence or impulse.
  2. A place, also known as a ford, along a river where the water is shallow enough to permit oxen or sheep to be driven to the opposite side.
  3. Course or direction along which anything is driven; setting.
  4. The tendency of an act, argument, course of conduct, or the like; object aimed at or intended; intention; hence, also, import or meaning of a sentence or discourse; aim.
  5. That which is driven, forced, or urged along
  6. Anything driven at random.
  7. A mass of matter which has been driven or forced onward together in a body, or thrown together in a heap, etc., esp. by wind or water; as, a drift of snow, of ice, of sand, and the like.
  8. A drove or flock, as of cattle, sheep, birds.
  9. The horizontal thrust or pressure of an arch or vault upon the abutments.
  10. A collection of loose earth and rocks, or boulders, which have been distributed over large portions of the earth's surface, especially in latitudes north of forty degrees, by the agency of ice.
  11. In South Africa, a ford in a river.
  12. A slightly tapered tool of steel for enlarging or shaping a hole in metal, by being forced or driven into or through it; a broach.
  13. A tool used in driving down compactly the composition contained in a rocket, or like firework.
  14. A deviation from the line of fire, peculiar to oblong projectiles.
  15. A passage driven or cut between shaft and shaft; a driftway; a small subterranean gallery; an adit or tunnel.
  16. The distance through which a current flows in a given time.
  17. The angle which the line of a ship's motion makes with the meridian, in drifting.
  18. The distance to which a vessel is carried off from her desired course by the wind, currents, or other causes.
  19. The place in a deep-waisted vessel where the sheer is raised and the rail is cut off, and usually terminated with a scroll, or driftpiece.
  20. The distance between the two blocks of a tackle.
  21. The difference between the size of a bolt and the hole into which it is driven, or between the circumference of a hoop and that of the mast on which it is to be driven.
  22. A sideways movement of the ball through the air, when bowled by a spin bowler.
  23. Driftwood, driftwood included in flotsam washed up onto the beach.
  24. Driftless Area, Drift (see Wikipedia). The material left behind by the retreat of continenal glaciers. It buries former river valleys and creates young river valleys. The Diftless Area, a geographical area of North America, was unglaciated for the past 510 million years. Mass noun.
  1. To move slowly, pushed by currents of water, air, etc
The boat drifted away from the shore.
The balloon was drifting in the breeze.
  1. To move haphazardly without any destination.
''He drifted from town to town, never settling down.
  1. To deviate gently from the intended direction of travel.
''This car tends to drift left at high speeds
dysphemism Tweet Definition of dysphemism Like Definition of dysphemism on Facebook
  1. (uncountable) The use of a word or phrase to replace another and that is considered more offensive or more vulgar than the word or phrase it replaces.
  2. (countable) A word or phrase that is used to replace another in this way.

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