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Alternative forms[edit]


A calque of German Lehnwort, equivalent to loan +‎ word. Compare West Frisian lienwurd, Dutch leenwoord, Danish låneord, Swedish lånord, Icelandic lánsorð.



loanword (plural loanwords)

  1. A word directly taken into one language from another one with little or no adaptation.
    The word “exit” is a loanword from Latin.
    • 1921 [1919], H. L. Mencken, chapter 32, in The American Language, 2nd edition, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, →ISBN, →OCLC:
      New words, and particularly loanwords, are simplified, and hence naturalized in American much more quickly than in English. Employé has long since become employee in our newspapers, and asphalte has lost its final e, and manœuvre has become maneuver, and pyjamas has become pajamas.
    • 2018, James Lambert, “Anglo-Indian slang in dictionaries on historical principles”, in World Englishes, volume 37, page 251:
      This searching was facilitated by the author's knowledge of the vagaries of Anglo-Indian spelling and the numerous colonial-era transliteration systems used for loanwords from Indian languages.



Coordinate terms[edit]



  • While the term loanword is a calque from German, the term calque is a loanword from French.

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Further reading[edit]