Definition of dead language in English:

dead language

noun

  • A language which is no longer in everyday spoken use, such as Latin.

    • ‘To memorize ancient chants and spells is not so very different from learning the dead languages of Latin and Greek.’
    • ‘Hebrew was a dead language till 1880 but today it is the official language of Israel.’
    • ‘The other part of Jonathon understood the language that Minoie was speaking: a dead language of antiquity which was remembered only in the ceremonial prayers of the Rentaio.’
    • ‘He more or less gave up photography and devoted himself to the study of Assyrian, a dead language.’
    • ‘She knew that Latin was a dead language but it helped her when she came across an historic document that needed translation.’
    • ‘The film is shot entirely in the dead languages of Aramaic and Latin, the two that would have been spoken around the time of Jesus' life in Jerusalem.’