bi·​lin·​gual | \ (ˌ)bī-ˈliŋ-gwəl How to pronounce bilingual (audio) 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

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 Some Latin artists switch seamlessly between collaborations with other Latin artists and US pop artists and between bilingual songs and exclusively Spanish-language tracks. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 17 Nov. 2021 Frog Hollow, a project to create a digital, bilingual oral-history walking tour. Susan Dunne,, 14 Nov. 2021 Throughout the week, different groups of students are pulled for additional support from Title I and bilingual aides. al, 10 Nov. 2021 Veronica Liu, the founder of Word Up Community Bookshop in Washington Heights, has heard the calls for bilingual books and stories with diverse protagonists loud and clear. New York Times, 4 Nov. 2021 Facing staff shortages, public schools in the state’s largest city have turned to bilingual high school students to interpret when families talk with teachers during report card conferences. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 4 Nov. 2021 In Newport, voters turned down a 5% sales tax on restaurants that would have added more police and bilingual library employees staff and repaired city buildings and parks. oregonlive, 3 Nov. 2021 The Public Theater’s bilingual podcast production adapted by Saheem Ali and Ricardo Pérez González. Marc Malkin, Variety, 3 Nov. 2021 These banking centers would include a bilingual staff to non-English speaking customers. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, 26 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for bilingual

Time Traveler

The first known use of bilingual was in 1819

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Dictionary Entries Near bilingual



bilingual education

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Statistics for bilingual

Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bilingual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce bilingual (audio) , -gyə-wəl \

Kids Definition of bilingual

1 : using or expressed in two languages a bilingual dictionary
2 : able to speak two languages

More from Merriam-Webster on bilingual

Nglish: Translation of bilingual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bilingual for Arabic Speakers


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