Definition of acrolect in English:



  • The most prestigious dialect or variety of a particular language (used especially in the study of Creoles)

    Compare with basilect, mesolect
    • ‘The acrolect is often European, reflecting the history of colonization, but this is not always the case.’
    • ‘Basilects and acrolects require some form, but mesolects require none.’
    • ‘In Belize the basilect is what we call ‘broad Kriol’, the acrolect could be called Belizean English.’
    • ‘However, most of the previous sociolinguistic studies compare how basilects or vernaculars differ from acrolects, disregarding variation in mesolects.’
    • ‘If the acrolect has become so approximated to the standard, to the point that vowel classes are unmerged, then the reality must be that the unmerged acrolect has been there since the beginning.’
    regional language, local language, local tongue, local speech, local parlance, variety of language
    View synonyms


1960s: from Greek akron ‘summit’ + -lect as in dialect.