bi·​lin·​gual | \(ˌ)bī-ˈliŋ-gwəl also -gyə-wəl \

Definition of bilingual 

1 : having or expressed in two languages a bilingual document an officially bilingual nation

2 : using or able to use two languages especially with equal fluency bilingual in English and Japanese

3 : of or relating to bilingual education

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Other Words from bilingual

bilingual noun
bilingually adverb

Examples of bilingual in a Sentence

Several of the employees are bilingual. He is bilingual in English and Japanese. She grew up in a bilingual community. The town has an excellent bilingual education program.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Now in its second year, the festival is bringing in bilingual, Latino panelists to speak about their work, including Guillermo Arias and Jean Guerrero. Olivia Ralph,, "Olivia's Report: U-T to host second annual San Diego Festival of Books," 5 July 2018 Kenneth Paap, a psychologist at San Francisco State University, thinks other factors may explain higher performance in bilingual children. Jane C. Hu, Scientific American, "Speaking a Second Language May Give Low-Income Kids a Boost," 1 June 2018 Pedro is really smart, and is a beautiful combination of a modern and traditional baseball man — bilingual, willing to work long hours but also enough of a big thinker to see the game from 30,000 feet. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Jorts, why should you go to the ballpark, and when can we start gambling? | The Kansas City Star," 15 May 2018 In remarks that lasted about 10 minutes, Mr. Carranza spoke of his experience as a bilingual child growing up in Tucson, Ariz. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "New York City Schools Chief Cheered as He Stresses Student Equity," 3 Apr. 2018 It is fronted by Liu’s captivating delivery of the smooth song’s bilingual lyrics about love and obsession, and backed by hypnotizing beats and otherworldly synths. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "Lexie Liu Takes a Joyride in Haunting 'Like a Mercedes' Video," 19 June 2018 The survey The people conducting the survey were bilingual and most of the questions were asked in Spanish, Gamarra said. Anthony Man,, "Poll of Puerto Ricans in Florida has good news for Dems — and for Gov. Scott," 30 June 2018 The children attend Academy of the Americas, a public school that offers a Spanish-English bilingual program. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "She was homeless until a Detroit library stepped in to help," 29 June 2018 In her role, Luna reaches out to parents of students in the bilingual program to provide information and to advocate on their behalf for any concerns or needs, according to her nomination letter by Carly Spina. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Glenview Civic awards honor cop who stopped burglary, student who performed CPR," 20 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bilingual.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bilingual

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bilingual

Latin bilinguis, from bi- + lingua tongue — more at tongue

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Statistics for bilingual

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bilingual

The first known use of bilingual was in 1819

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More Definitions for bilingual



English Language Learners Definition of bilingual

: able to speak and understand two languages

: using or expressed in two languages


bi·​lin·​gual | \ˌbī-ˈliŋ-gwəl, -gyə-wəl\

Kids Definition of bilingual

1 : using or expressed in two languages a bilingual dictionary

2 : able to speak two languages

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More from Merriam-Webster on bilingual

Spanish Central: Translation of bilingual

Nglish: Translation of bilingual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bilingual for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bilingual

What made you want to look up bilingual? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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