bi·​lin·​gual (ˌ)bī-ˈliŋ-gwəl How to pronounce bilingual (audio)
 also  -gyə-wəl
: having or expressed in two languages
a bilingual document
an officially bilingual nation
: using or able to use two languages especially with equal fluency
bilingual in English and Japanese
: of or relating to bilingual education
bilingual noun
bilingually adverb

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The 28-year-old vocalist’s relaxed pacing and live-and-let-live attitude helped distinguish her from many R&B contemporaries, as did her bilingual artistry. Bob Gendron, Chicago Tribune, 16 May 2023 According to the union statement, the 2.5-year tentative agreement with the school district includes a 15.5 percent salary increase for most teachers, retroactive pay, and bilingual stipends for teachers who can speak multiple languages. Cheri Mossburg, CNN, 15 May 2023 Better to look in the original heart of town, the Roma Imperiale neighborhood — work with the bilingual brokers at Royal Forte to find a pad: the six-bedroom Villa Allegra, set in an almost half-acre garden in that area, is on sale for 7.2 million euros (around $7.9 million). Mark Ellwood, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 May 2023 This week’s column features a shot of Latin flavor with two bilingual tracks, including Scotty McCreery‘s collab with Gusi, as well as Honey County’s pairing with Chiquis. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 8 May 2023 One of their performances earlier this year was at the unveiling of new bilingual street signs in Korean and English in Dallas’ Koreatown. Elizabeth Myong, Dallas News, 5 May 2023 The community center will house one of the first bilingual preschools in the area, and serve as a space for youth programs, celebrations, events and community meetings. Austindedios, oregonlive, 30 Apr. 2023 The mall is described as a fully bilingual location. Corina Vanek, The Arizona Republic, 30 Apr. 2023 Get out your roller skates and electric guitars to prep for Skylight Music Theatre's 2023-'24 season, which also will include a bilingual show featuring American Sign Language. Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel, 25 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bilingual.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bilingual was in 1819

Dictionary Entries Near bilingual

Cite this Entry

“Bilingual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


bi·​lin·​gual (ˌ)bī-ˈliŋ-g(yə-)wəl How to pronounce bilingual (audio)
: of, expressed in, or using two languages
a bilingual dictionary
: able to use two languages especially with fluency

More from Merriam-Webster on bilingual

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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