Things pertaining to the land or culture of England are referred to as being English. This includes the people of England as well as the language spoken there, which was brought to the American colonies by the English explorers.

The English language finds its origins in the West Germanic tribes that inhabited England in the 5th Century: the Saxons, the Jutes, and the Angles, the latter of which provided the name English. Mix in Romance languages such as the Latin-based Norman French and some old Norse, and you have the smorgasbord that is our modern English. Note that the english or "spin" you put on a billiard or bowling ball seems to have evolved separately, from the French anglé, meaning "angle."

Definitions of English
  1. adjective
    of or relating to or characteristic of England or its culture or people
    English history”
    “the English landed aristocracy”
    English literature”
  2. noun
    the people of England
    synonyms: English people
    see moresee less
    type of:
    country, land, nation
    the people who live in a nation or country
  3. noun
    an Indo-European language belonging to the West Germanic branch; the official language of Britain and the United States and most of the commonwealth countries
    synonyms: English language
    see moresee less
    show 20 types...
    hide 20 types...
    American, American English, American language
    the English language as used in the United States
    the nonstandard dialect of natives of the east end of London
    the nonstandard dialect of natives of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
    King's English, Queen's English
    English as spoken by educated persons in southern England
    Received Pronunciation
    the approved pronunciation of British English; originally based on the King's English as spoken at public schools and at Oxford and Cambridge Universities (and widely accepted elsewhere in Britain); until recently it was the pronunciation of English used in British broadcasting
    Middle English
    English from about 1100 to 1450
    Modern English
    English since about 1450
    Anglo-Saxon, Old English
    English prior to about 1100
    Oxford English
    the dialect of English spoken at Oxford University and regarded by many as affected and pretentious
    Scots, Scots English, Scottish
    the dialect of English used in Scotland
    AAVE, African American English, African American Vernacular English, Black English, Black English Vernacular, Black Vernacular, Black Vernacular English, Ebonics
    a nonstandard form of American English characteristically spoken by African Americans in the United States
    East Midland
    the dialect of Middle English that replaced West Saxon as the literary language and which developed into Modern English
    West Midland
    a dialect of Middle English
    a dialect of Middle English that developed into Scottish Lallans
    a dialect of Middle English
    Southwestern, West Saxon
    a dialect of Middle English
    West Saxon
    a literary dialect of Old English
    one of the major dialects of Old English
    Jutish, Kentish
    one of the major dialects of Old English
    Lallans, Scottish Lallans
    a dialect of English spoken in the Lowlands of Scotland
    type of:
    West Germanic, West Germanic language
    a branch of the Germanic languages
  4. noun
    the discipline that studies the English language and literature
    see moresee less
    type of:
    arts, humanistic discipline, humanities, liberal arts
    studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills)
  5. adjective
    of or relating to the English language
  6. noun
    (sports) the spin given to a ball by striking it on one side or releasing it with a sharp twist
    synonyms: side
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a swift whirling motion (usually of a missile)
Word Family