• A commonly recognized text or edition, as of the “Iliad.”
  • (In singular) Common or colloquial speech.

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Example Sentences

“Fred decided to speak in the vulgate to better explain his technical procedures.”

“The professor instructed his class to purchase the vulgate of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ so they could all read the same text.”

“While I use flowery words on the stage, I prefer the vulgate with my friends.”

Word Origin

Latin, early 16th century

Why this word?

While it looks extremely similar to “vulgar” (“unrefined; coarse and rude”), and they share the same Latin root (“vulgus,” meaning “common people”), “vulgate” is more sophisticated. The first usage is to designate a commonly recognized edition of a known text. For example, a university professor might designate the vulgate edition of Chaucer for her students to review. The other usage calls back to the “common people” root. The vulgate (always referenced in the singular) is colloquial speech — it can be slang or casual vernacular. As a proper noun, the Vulgate is a fourth-century Latin translation of the Bible that was adopted as the official text for the Roman Catholic Church.

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