Definition of American Sign Language in US English:

American Sign Language

(also ASL)


  • A form of sign language developed in the US and used also in English-speaking parts of Canada.

    • ‘The activists also insist that ‘deaf culture,’ complete with its own language - American Sign Language, or ASL - is no different from any other ethnic or linguistic culture.’
    • ‘I've taken some classes in American Sign Language at a community college near me and would love to combine it with my background in dance.’
    • ‘I learned American Sign Language at the New York School for the Deaf, read journal articles and finally was accepted.’
    • ‘The type preferred by most deaf adults is American Sign Language, which has rules and grammar that is distinct from English.’
    • ‘It is now clear that sign languages, such as American Sign Language, have all the essential properties of spoken language.’