Definition of Basic English in US English:

Basic English


  • A simplified form of English limited to 850 selected words, intended for international communication.

    • ‘It is ironic that his political aims for Basic English were foiled by his very ignorance of and inattention to politics itself as a constitutive force in human affairs.’
    • ‘There are five main parts to the Basic English word list: operators, things (general), things (pictured), qualities (general), qualities (opposite).’
    • ‘He founded the Orthological Institute to develop the tools for teaching Basic English.’
    • ‘An ardent propagandist for so-called Basic English, a project which reduced the language to a mere 850 words, he was also a precursor of today's global industry of English-language teaching.’
    • ‘They were enthusiasts for something called Basic English, an educational tool that limited the language's vocabulary to 850 words and, as far as possible, only its more regular verb forms.’


Basic English

/ˌbeɪsɪk ˈɪŋ(ɡ)lɪʃ/