Definition of Prakrit in English:



  • Any of the ancient or medieval vernacular dialects of north and central India which existed alongside or were derived from Sanskrit.

    • ‘All of the modern vernaculars spoken in Northern India today are direct descendants of Sanskrit and Prakrit.’
    • ‘The language of the edicts is Prakrit, the connecting link between the classical language of Sanskrit and the modern Indo-European languages of India, and two different forms of script are used for this.’
    • ‘Ancient tongues Tamil and Prakrit are rich with literary contributions from the Jain monks.’
    • ‘Many of the children of such mothers would be speaking Sanskrit or Prakrit dialects and Indo-centric in attitude, further influencing flow of literature from India to Greece in successive generations.’
    • ‘Selected from old Tamil, Prakrit and Sanskrit, the most ancient literary languages of India, this anthology contains 188 poems, many of which we won't even chance upon if our pursuit in poetry isn't for some specific antiquity.’


From Sanskrit prākṛta ‘unrefined, natural’. Compare with Sanskrit.