[ slang ]
/ slæŋ /


very informal usage in vocabulary and idiom that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, elliptical, vivid, and ephemeral than ordinary language, as Hit the road.
(in English and some other languages) speech and writing characterized by the use of vulgar and socially taboo vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.
the jargon of a particular class, profession, etc.
the special vocabulary of thieves, vagabonds, etc.; argot.

verb (used without object)

to use slang or abusive language.

verb (used with object)

to assail with abusive language.

Origin of slang

First recorded in 1750–60; origin uncertain

usage note for slang

See informal.

Definition for slang (2 of 3)

slang 2
[ slang ]
/ slæŋ /

verb Nonstandard.

simple past tense of sling1.

Definition for slang (3 of 3)

slang dictionary


a specialized dictionary covering the words, phrases, and idioms that reflect the least formal speech of a language. These terms are often metaphorical and playful, and are likely to be evanescent as the spoken language changes from one generation to another. Much slang belongs to specific groups, as the jargon of a particular class, profession, or age group. Some is vulgar. Some slang terms have staying power as slang, but others make a transition into common informal speech, and then into the standard language. An online slang dictionary, such as the Slang Dictionary, provides immediate information about the meaning and history of a queried term and its appropriateness or lack of appropriateness in a range of social and professional circumstances.

Example sentences from the Web for slang

British Dictionary definitions for slang

/ (slæŋ) /


  1. vocabulary, idiom, etc, that is not appropriate to the standard form of a language or to formal contexts, may be restricted as to social status or distribution, and is characteristically more metaphorical and transitory than standard language
  2. (as modifier)a slang word
another word for jargon 1


to abuse (someone) with vituperative language; insult

Derived forms of slang

slangy, adjective slangily, adverb slanginess, noun

Word Origin for slang

C18: of unknown origin

Cultural definitions for slang


Expressions that do not belong to standard written English. For example, “flipping out” is slang for “losing one's mind” or “losing one's temper.” Slang expressions are usually inappropriate in formal speech or writing. (See jargon.)