Definition of Basic English in US English:

Basic English


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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He founded the Orthological Institute to develop the tools for teaching Basic English.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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).’


Basic English

/ˌbeɪsɪk ˈɪŋ(ɡ)lɪʃ/