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

Every summer, Humble ISD has a month-long program for Pre-K and kindergarten students who are bilingual and ESL. Kaila Contreras, Houston Chronicle, "Park Lakes Elementary School students hold annual July 4th parade," 29 June 2018 Educated at expensive bilingual schools in Bogota, Duque went on to get a Colombian law degree. Matthew Bristow,, "Meteoric Rise Lifts D.C. Commuter to Cusp of Colombia’s Presidency," 3 May 2018 After their wedding, the couple settled in Rome and enrolled Hepburn's son Sean in a bilingual school. Morgan Evans, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Timeline of Audrey Hepburn's Hollywood Love Stories," 16 June 2017 Rina Jakubowicz is an international bilingual yoga teacher, Reiki practitioner, motivational speaker, and author. SELF, "8 Influencers Making the Wellness World More Inclusive," 7 Nov. 2018 Her bilingual background will also play a role in creating the line. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Grace Kelly's Granddaughter Pauline Ducruet Grew Up Training Elephants in an Actual Circus," 7 Sep. 2018 The Associated Press reported this month that the San Benito school district had an agreement to send 19 bilingual teachers and other resources to a nearby migrant shelter on the U.S-Mexico border. Fox News, "Texas won't pay for educating kids in migrant shelters," 31 Aug. 2018 Loretta Lopez, the bilingual case manager at Safe Passage who was going to be interpreting for the hearing, joined us as well. Lauren Blodgett, Glamour, "I Represent Migrant Children in Immigration Court. This Is What It's Like.," 26 July 2018 While many Moldovans are bilingual, Russian is the language of choice in the ethnic-Russian north or the semi-autonomous republic of Gagauzia, home to a Russian-speaking Christian Turkic group. Fox News, "Romanian or Russian? A geopolitical issue in Moldova," 27 Aug. 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

27 Dec 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).


marked by shyness and lack of polish

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