AskDefine | Define Gaelic

Dictionary Definition

Gaelic adj : relating to or characteristic of the Celts [syn: Celtic] n : any of several related languages of the Celts in Ireland and Scotland [syn: Goidelic, Erse]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /gɑːlɪk/ or /gælɪk/ (when referring to Scottish Gaelic); /galɪk/ (in Scots and Scottish English); /geɪlɪk/ (when referring to Irish Gaelic or Manx Gaelic).
    Rhymes with: -eɪlɪk

Proper noun

  1. Goidelic; any Goidelic language.
  2. Scottish Gaelic.


  • Danish: gælisk
  • Irish: Gaeilis
  • Italian: gaelico
  • Japanese: ゲール語
any Goidelic language

See also


  1. Of or relating to the Gaels, the Celtic peoples of Scotland, Ireland, and the Manx, or their language.


relating to the Gaels or their language

Extensive Definition

Gaelic as an adjective means "pertaining to the Gaels", including language and culture.
As a noun, it may refer to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the individual languages, though in Ireland, "Irish" is used more frequently to refer to the Irish language and in Scotland, Gaelic is often referred to by its own spelling, Gàidhlig.
It is also the word commonly used in Ireland to denote the sport of Gaelic football.

Gaelic languages

In referring to languages, Gaelic may mean or refer to:
When referring to Scottish Gaelic, Gaelic is usually pronounced /gɑːlɪk/ or /gælɪk/; /galɪk/ in Scots and Scottish English. When referring to Irish Gaelic or Manx Gaelic, it is usually pronounced /geɪlɪk/.
Shelta is sometimes counted as a Gaelic or Goidelic language; however, while it is closely associated with Irish it is not genetically related, being instead a cant which has borrowed a great volume of Irish vocabulary.

Gaelic culture and history

As an adjective, Gaelic may refer to the Gaelic culture and history of the Gaelic-speaking peoples, with reference to, amongst other things:

Other uses

Gaelic in Breton: Gouezeleg
Gaelic in Hebrew: גאלית
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