Argot – Definition & Meaning

Argot is a term that is often used to describe a type of language that is unique to a particular group of people. It is a form of slang that is used by individuals within a specific community or profession. The use of argot can help to create a sense of belonging and identity among members of a particular group. This article will explore the definition and meaning of argot, as well as its origins and associations.


Argot is a term that is often used interchangeably with slang. However, there are some subtle differences between the two. Slang is a more general term that refers to informal language that is used in casual settings. Argot, on the other hand, is a more specific type of slang that is used by a particular group of people. It often includes words and phrases that are unique to that group and may be difficult for outsiders to understand.


The word argot comes from the French word “argotier,” which means “to use slang.” The term was first used in the 17th century to describe the language used by thieves and other criminals in France. Over time, the term has come to be used more broadly to describe any type of language that is unique to a particular group.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of argot can vary slightly depending on the dictionary you consult. However, most definitions agree that it is a type of slang that is used by a particular group of people. For example, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines argot as “a specialized vocabulary or set of idioms used by a particular group.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “the jargon or slang of a particular group or class, especially a criminal or underworld group.”


Argot is often associated with criminal or underworld groups, as this was its original context. However, it can also be used by other groups, such as musicians, teenagers, or members of a particular profession. The use of argot can help to create a sense of identity and belonging among members of a group, as well as to exclude outsiders who do not understand the language.


There are several synonyms for argot, including jargon, slang, dialect, and patois. Each of these terms refers to a specific type of language that is used by a particular group of people. Jargon, for example, is often used to describe the specialized vocabulary used in a particular profession, such as medicine or law.


The antonyms of argot include standard language, formal language, and proper language. These terms refer to the more formal and standardized forms of language that are used in academic, professional, and other formal settings. While argot may be appropriate in certain contexts, it is generally not considered appropriate in more formal settings.

The same root words

There are several words that share the same root as argot, including argotic, argotist, and argotize. These words all relate to the use of argot or slang, but have slightly different meanings. For example, argotic refers to anything that is related to argot, while argotist refers to someone who is skilled at using argot.

Example Sentences

  1. The thieves used a complex argot to communicate with each other without being understood by outsiders.
  2. The musicians had their own argot, filled with terms and phrases that only they understood.
  3. The teenagers used a lot of argot in their conversations, making it difficult for their parents to understand what they were saying.
  4. The lawyers used a lot of legal jargon in their arguments, making it difficult for the judge to follow their arguments.
  5. The professor insisted that his students use proper language in their essays, rather than relying on slang or argot.
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