Definition of Gaelic in English:



  • Relating to the Goidelic languages, particularly the Celtic language of Scotland, and the culture associated with speakers of these languages and their descendants.

    • ‘From this background, it is not difficult to speculate about the extent of her contact with Irish or Scottish fishermen, possibly even Gaelic speakers.’
    • ‘There have been some quibbles with the method, but there are links to other Gaelic sites here.’
    • ‘The old building was highly praised by Gaelic lobbyists for the fact that the signs were in the two languages, and that the Gaelic language was clear on all of them.’
    • ‘The last ferocious attack on the Gaelic language was in the application of the 1872 Education Act, which was intolerant of all but English.’
    • ‘Its ancient Gaelic language is struggling to survive, despite subsidy and encouragement, on the geographic fringes to which it was relegated.’
    • ‘People with Scottish connections have a huge interest in Gaelic culture and language.’
    • ‘My mother, a Gaelic speaker, came from the area and used to sing me songs about the castle.’
    • ‘The theatre network is expanding, the professional traditional music scene has gone ballistic, there's a real confidence, and that's before you begin to talk about the Gaelic culture.’
    • ‘He suggests that the immigrant was critically burdened by a Gaelic culture, which had been dislocated from its homeland and stranded in an alien environment.’
    • ‘It would give the event high profile, and we are always endeavouring to engage the Gaelic community and culture in any advances we are making.’
    • ‘This book will celebrate contemporary Gaelic culture in both countries and the process of producing it will renew an old relationship.’
    • ‘These people eventually became completely Celticised sharing a common culture and a common Gaelic language.’
    • ‘As the boy aged, the stories turned into lessons about both Irish culture and the beautiful Gaelic language.’
    • ‘The awards are to recognise those clubs that ‘are doing so much to promote Gaelic games and culture and carrying out tremendous work for the youth of our country’.’
    • ‘What the island lacked in the ways of material comfort was amply made up by the richness of its Gaelic culture and its community spirit.’
    • ‘She is involved with primary and tertiary education and the preservation of Gaelic culture and language.’
    • ‘The rhythm, harmony and melody of the music are drawn from the sounds of nature, mixed with the cadence of the Gaelic language.’
    • ‘There's also a need to protect Gaelic language and culture.’
    • ‘This would amount to about three hours per day, with repeats and English language programmes of interest to Gaelic speakers on top of that.’
    • ‘O'Curry's two Irish lecture series amount to an authoritative interpretation of Gaelic society and culture.’


  • 1A Goidelic language brought from Ireland in the 5th and 6th centuries AD and spoken mainly in the highlands and islands of western Scotland.

    • ‘The bill will not establish Gaelic as an official language throughout Scotland.’
    • ‘The language spoken was not Gaelic as we now know it, but a form of Celtic spoken by the Welsh, Cornish and Breton people.’
    • ‘In the framework of a number of European project initiatives it has been possible to investigate the development of Scottish Gaelic in local detail for the past 125 years.’
    • ‘Now I found some interesting comments, as I looked through newspaper articles and so on, on all that's been happening just over the last few months in Scotland about Gaelic.’
    • ‘There was little use speaking Gaelic in England, Scotland or America.’
    • ‘Resurgence of interest in Scottish Gaelic in the 1990s has been given a boost by the establishing of Scotland's own Parliament, for the first time in 300 years.’
    • ‘Highland games are common, Gaelic is widely spoken in Nova Scotia, and Winnipeg has 25 Scottish societies.’
    • ‘By the 11th century Scots Gaelic was used throughout Scotland, except for the Hebrides and the Northern Isles which remained under Norse control.’
    • ‘What the Pacific scheme would aim to do would be bring forward a generation with Gaelic as its first language.’
    • ‘Economically, it has been depressed and the local language, Gaelic, has virtually disappeared.’
    • ‘They specialise in Scottish Gaelic, although the method is applicable to any language.’
    • ‘In Scotland, Gaelic also has official status, but on a much more limited scale.’
    • ‘Thereafter though Scotland was immersed in a Babel of languages, including Gaelic, Welsh, Anglo - Saxon, Old Norse and Old French.’
    • ‘Gaelic is a Celtic language that probably was introduced by Celts in the last few centuries B.C.E. Similar to Scottish Gaelic, it shares common structures with Welsh and Breton.’
    • ‘First of all, he effected a reorientation of attitudes to the country's two indigenous languages, the Scots Gaelic of the Highlands and Islands and the vernacular Scots of the Borders and Lowlands.’
    • ‘Irish Gaelic is a Celtic language closely related to Scottish Gaelic.’
    • ‘The latest census figures suggest fewer than 60,000 Scots speak Gaelic, compared to more than 250,000 over a century ago.’
    • ‘In that culture, there's also another language, Gaelic, which my ancestors spoke.’
    • ‘Only three people out of almost 50 in the room speak Gaelic as their first language.’
    • ‘It gives something, an artform, to people which they would never access except in Scotland and in Gaelic.’
    1. 1.1
      another term for Irish (the language)
      • ‘Both English and Gaelic are taught in primary school (called National School).’
      • ‘He was educated at Christian Brother's Schools in Dublin and took Gaelic, English, Latin and maths as his honour subjects in his final year.’
      • ‘I could not understand what they were saying because it was all in Gaelic.’
      • ‘The actors, including the children, had to be Gaelic speakers - each scene was filmed twice: in both English and Gaelic.’
      • ‘She was doing her best at translating the Gaelic in the letter the Cardinal had given her, and although she could tell most of the words, the sentences were nothing but nonsense.’
      • ‘However, unlike English and Gaelic, Scots words are frequently spelt in a variety of ways, leading to problems in drawing up a recognised system.’
      • ‘They have what we can call ‘communicative competence’ even though their grammatical competence in Gaelic is weak.’
      • ‘Either of these would be a good exchange for any book tokens you may have lying around, and the latter has a very useful checklist of Scotland's native flora, with names listed in Latin, English, Gaelic and Scots.’
      • ‘The room was mixed with conversations in Gaelic, Roman, Galic, and Frankish.’
      • ‘Its distinctive features come from Norse, Gaelic and French.’
      • ‘As I climbed, I caught some words that he was muttering, but they were old Gaelic and I didn't understand.’
      • ‘For many performers it was a statement of identity, allied to a desire for constitutional change and the need to maintain languages such as Welsh, Gaelic, Breton and Erse, threatened with extinction.’
      • ‘The website has more information on it in English than in Gaelic, for example.’
      • ‘Learners of Gaelic are often plagued by the traditional rules of grammar.’
      • ‘As the hours slowly passed, he rocked back and forth, muttering prayers first in Latin, then in Gaelic, then in English.’
      • ‘The Irish Pastoral Center offers classes in Irish dance and in Gaelic.’
      • ‘The move is controversial, because wholesale borrowings of English words into Gaelic have been seen as a sign of weakness in the Celtic language.’
      • ‘We then transcribed the recording in English and Gaelic.’
      • ‘Many Gaelic speakers died in the Great Famine of the 1840s, and Gaelic was replaced by English, which was needed to achieve social mobility.’
      • ‘For every student sitting key exams who was fluent in the language in 1999, there are now two speakers of Gaelic.’