Sanskrit vs. Prakrit



The ancient language of the Hindoos, long since obsolete in vernacular use, but preserved to the present day as the literary and sacred dialect of India. It is nearly allied to the Persian, and to the principal languages of Europe, classical and modern, and by its more perfect preservation of the roots and forms of the primitive language from which they are all descended, is a most important assistance in determining their history and relations. Cf. Prakrit, and Veda.


Any one of the popular dialects descended from, or akin to, Sanskrit; - in distinction from the Sanskrit, which was used as a literary and learned language when no longer spoken by the people. Pali is one of the Prakrit dialects.


Of or pertaining to Sanskrit; written in Sanskrit; as, a Sanskrit dictionary or inscription.


any of the modern Indic languages


(Hinduism) an ancient language of India (the language of the Vedas and of Hinduism); an official language of India although it is now used only for religious purposes


any of the vernacular Indic languages of north and central India (as distinguished from Sanskrit) recorded from the 3rd century BC to the 4th century AD


Sanskrit (; attributively संस्कृत-, saṃskṛta-; nominally संस्कृतम्, saṃskṛtam, IPA: [ˈsɐ̃skr̩tɐm]) is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had diffused there from the northwest in the late Bronze Age.


The Prakrits (; Early Brahmi 𑀧𑁆𑀭𑀸𑀓𑀾𑀢, prākṛta; Devanagari Sanskrit: प्राकृत, prākṛta; Shauraseni: 𑀧𑀸𑀉𑀤, pāuda; Jain Prakrit: pāua; Kannada: pāgada) are a group of vernacular Middle Indo-Aryan languages used in India from around the 3rd century BCE to the 8th century CE. The term Prakrit is usually applied to the middle period of Middle Indo-Aryan languages, excluding earlier inscriptions and the later Pali. The Prakrits were used contemporaneously with the Classical Sanskrit of higher social classes.

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