Definition of Brythonic in US English:


(also Brittonic)


  • Denoting, relating to, or belonging to the southern group of Celtic languages, consisting of Welsh, Cornish, and Breton.

    Also called P-Celtic
    Compare with Goidelic
    • ‘Welsh and Breton are the only surviving members of the ancient British or Brythonic subdivision of the Celtic language family.’
    • ‘it is the oldest language spoken in Britain, with an unbroken history from Brythonic origins as part of the Celtic family of Indo-European languages from which most European languages derive.’
    • ‘Many are a posteriori languages, that is, variations on natural languages, like Brithenig (a mixture of the features of Brythonic and Romance languages); others are a priori - starting from scratch - like Elet Anta.’
    • ‘Welsh, or Cymraeg, is a Celtic language belonging to the Brythonic group consisting of Breton, Welsh, and the extinct Cornish.’
    • ‘The Brittonic form of Celtic (thought to have been spoken throughout Britain prior to the Anglo-Saxon conquest and still represented by Welsh, Cornish and Breton) is usually regarded as a later development of Celtic than Goedelic.’


  • The Brythonic languages collectively.

    • ‘Several place-name elements are thought to be wholly or partly Brythonic in origin, particularly bre-, bal-, and dun for hills, carr for a high rocky place, coomb for a small deep valley.’
    • ‘The Celtic language is a sub-group of the Indo-European language group, divided into two groups, Goidelic (consisting of Irish, Scots Gaelic, and Manx) and Brythonic (consisting of Welsh, Cornish, and Breton).’
    • ‘Why, for that matter, do so few inscriptions survive in ‘British’, or Brythonic, when the Celtic language known as Gaulish was being written down in much of continental Europe?’
    • ‘Insular Celtic, usually further divided into: British or Brythonic (from Brython a Briton) and Irish or Goidelic (from Goidel an Irishman: modern Gael) British and Gaulish were at one time a continuum of linked dialects.’
    • ‘To begin with, Wales was Prydain, where Brythonic, then Cymraeg or Welsh, were spoken extensively except for Pict-occupied northern Scotland.’


From Welsh Brython ‘Britons’ + -ic.