Definition of Esperanto in US English:



  • An artificial language devised in 1887 as an international medium of communication, based on roots from the chief European languages.

    • ‘As well as his musical activities, he was a keen amateur mathematician and scientist, and an enthusiast for Esperanto, in which language he kept a diary for many years.’
    • ‘Artificial human languages like Esperanto are a more difficult case.’
    • ‘Not only literary works began to be translated into other languages and disseminated but there were also several attempts to create a global unifying language like Esperanto.’
    • ‘Klingon may be an artificial language, but so is Esperanto, which has thousands of speakers worldwide.’
    • ‘These groups were interested in internationalism, saw the need for an international language, and started teaching themselves Esperanto.’
    • ‘Stephen, who said he has tried his hand at German, Latin and Classical Greek, is fluent in Esperanto and holds regular meetings at his home for fellow linguists.’
    • ‘He's better than you and me, and to top it all off he can speak the international language of Esperanto.’
    • ‘This is basically akin to saying Esperanto will make learning languages obsolete.’
    • ‘He reads widely in English and French, and also in Esperanto, a language through which he has made friends from all over the world.’
    • ‘The other much vaunted advantage of Esperanto over English is, as I mentioned, that it's neutral.’
    • ‘Such alternatives purport to be universal, but they are universal in much the same way that Esperanto is a universal language.’
    • ‘Topics have included the history of megaliths, the semi-defunct international language Esperanto, underground Japanese cinema and music broadcast to and from space.’
    • ‘Algol, a language suitable for expressing algorithms, is the computational equivalent of Esperanto, created in 1960 by an international committee.’


Late 19th century: from the name Dr Esperanto, used as a pen name by the inventor of the language, Ludwik L. Zamenhof (1858–1917), Polish physician; the literal sense is ‘one who hopes’ (based on Latin sperare ‘to hope’).