Definition of Old English in English:

Old English


  • The language of the Anglo-Saxons (up to about 1150), a highly inflected language with a largely Germanic vocabulary, very different from modern English.

    Also called Anglo-Saxon
    • ‘From the late 8th century on, the Vikings forced entry, occupied the land, and introduced Old Norse words into Old English.’
    • ‘In England laws had been written in Old English as early as the seventh century, and Bede had embarked on translating parts of the Bible in the eighth.’
    • ‘Diligently, he traces each letter from the ancient Semitic and Phoenician alphabets through Old English and Norman French, exploring shapes and pronunciation.’
    • ‘The word derives from Old English gliv or glo, meaning ‘music’.’
    • ‘The solution to this riddle is ‘sacred scriptures’, sacra scriptura, or in Old English halige gewritu.’


Old English

/ōld ˈiNG(ɡ)liSH/