Definition of Esperanto in English:



mass noun
  • An artificial language devised in 1887 as an international medium of communication, based on roots from the chief European languages. It retains the structure of these languages and has the advantage of grammatical regularity and ease of pronunciation.

    • ‘Artificial human languages like Esperanto are a more difficult case.’
    • ‘Stephen, who said he has tried his hand at German, Latin and Classical Greek, is fluent in Esperanto and holds regular meetings at his home for fellow linguists.’
    • ‘He reads widely in English and French, and also in Esperanto, a language through which he has made friends from all over the world.’
    • ‘Klingon may be an artificial language, but so is Esperanto, which has thousands of speakers worldwide.’
    • ‘He's better than you and me, and to top it all off he can speak the international language of Esperanto.’
    • ‘Such alternatives purport to be universal, but they are universal in much the same way that Esperanto is a universal language.’
    • ‘As well as his musical activities, he was a keen amateur mathematician and scientist, and an enthusiast for Esperanto, in which language he kept a diary for many years.’
    • ‘These groups were interested in internationalism, saw the need for an international language, and started teaching themselves Esperanto.’
    • ‘This is basically akin to saying Esperanto will make learning languages obsolete.’
    • ‘Algol, a language suitable for expressing algorithms, is the computational equivalent of Esperanto, created in 1960 by an international committee.’
    • ‘The other much vaunted advantage of Esperanto over English is, as I mentioned, that it's neutral.’
    • ‘Topics have included the history of megaliths, the semi-defunct international language Esperanto, underground Japanese cinema and music broadcast to and from space.’
    • ‘Not only literary works began to be translated into other languages and disseminated but there were also several attempts to create a global unifying language like Esperanto.’


Late 19th century: from the name Dr Esperanto, used as a pen name by the inventor of the language, Ludwik L. Zamenhof (1858–1917), Polish physician; the literal sense is ‘one who hopes’ (based on Latin sperare ‘to hope’).