Definition of slang in English:

slang

noun

  • [mass noun] A type of language consisting of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people:

    ‘grass is slang for marijuana’
    ‘army slang’
    [as modifier] ‘slang terms’
    • ‘He would use rhyming slang for words that were slang already.’
    • ‘Previous studies of slang terms for female and/or male genitalia have found rich variety.’
    • ‘Analysis of the semantic or metaphorical categories in genital slang is not common.’
    • ‘The repeated word doesn't have to be slang, or a greeting, or anything else in particular.’
    • ‘All those obscenities and repeated slang phrases may be authentic but they tend to impoverish the language of his books.’
    • ‘It also results in the legitimate public use of words that in other contexts are regarded as slang.’
    • ‘All their songs were full of slang phrases and raps.’
    • ‘It's hard enough for me to understand English with all these slang words kids are trying to add to it.’
    • ‘New slang terms appear to fit within the same categories, rather than radically challenging them.’
    • ‘But the best thing about Braff's report is his delight over our national slang words.’
    • ‘Worse still, we happily appropriate other nation's slang terms as our own.’
    • ‘We found that respondents disagreed about the specific meaning of even the most common slang terms.’
    • ‘The older slang meaning of the phrase is a hollow sarcastic obedience.’
    • ‘In the article about slang words used by different Western nationalities, we have this gem.’
    • ‘The use of slang has been common among doctors for years, despite official disapproval of derogatory terms.’
    • ‘Tibetans liberally sprinkle proverbs into daily conversations as a substitute for slang phrases.’
    • ‘But I see from the list there's no mention of the gay slang language of Polari?’
    • ‘The kid who knew and used the latest slang word was definitely a higher grade than the kid who hadn't used it.’
    • ‘Imagine Logan's glee that day when he received a hundred emails with every dirty slang word I could think of.’
    • ‘Many words in English have obscure origins, particularly those which may be said to have risen in the world from lowly origins in argot, cant or slang.’
    informal language, colloquialisms, idioms, patois, argot, cant, dialect
    jargon, terminology
    rhyming slang, back slang
    lingo, geekspeak, -speak
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Attack (someone) using abusive language:

    ‘he watched ideological groups slanging one another’
    • ‘Losing the state elections of Hesse in February 1999, frequent slanging between members and finally the resignation of Lafontaine in March 1999 certainly made the future of the government look grim.’
    • ‘The traditional slanging over cannibalism pales in comparison.’
    • ‘‘To be honest I don't want to get into political slanging about it - it's not where I'm at, but it was quite damaging,’ she says.’
    • ‘It is nice that the Minister finished up with a big thank you to the select committee after that slanging he gave us during his speech.’
    • ‘The Labour leadership is desperate to avoid the hours of slanging and whingeing which will come with any such debate.’

Origin

Mid 18th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

slang

/slaŋ/