bilingualism

noun
bi·​lin·​gual·​ism | \ (ˌ)bī-ˈliŋ-gwə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce bilingualism (audio) \

Definition of bilingualism

1 : the ability to speak two languages
2 : the frequent use (as by a community) of two languages
3 : the political or institutional recognition of two languages

Examples of bilingualism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is not the first time that studies have shown a correlation between economic prosperity and bilingualism (pdf), but correlation doesn’t necessarily prove causation. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Europe’s largest economies are falling behind in English," 5 Nov. 2019 In quarters of the city, bilingualism, biculturalism and biliteracy — English and Spanish, that is — are being celebrated and revived, including within the San Antonio Independent School District. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Lack of Spanish fluency should never be a source of shame for Hispanics," 1 Aug. 2019 How has bilingualism/multiculturalism changed through the years in the Katy ISD? Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "SUNDAY CONVERSATION: School namesake excited about start of classes in KISD," 21 July 2019 And Brown wasn’t the only star who noticed the Democrats’ selective bilingualism. Christi Carras, latimes.com, "‘Please stop yelling’: Hollywood applauds first Democratic debate," 27 June 2019 Even Castro, whose lack of fluency in Spanish as the only Latino candidate has been much-discussed, offered a brief bit of bilingualism. Author: Aaron Blake, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: Winners and losers from the Democratic presidential debate’s first night," 27 June 2019 Even Castro, whose lack of fluency in Spanish as the only Latino candidate has been much discussed, offered a brief bit of bilingualism. Aaron Blake, BostonGlobe.com, "Analysis: Winners and losers from Democratic presidential debate’s first night," 26 June 2019 Left unsaid in campaign material, however, were his views then about bilingualism. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "In college writings, Third District candidate Beej Das compared minority organizations to Nazis," 9 June 2018 The program’s literacy specialists talk about brain development, bilingualism, cultural influences, making age-appropriate book selections and numerous other topics. Brian Sodoma, azcentral, "Reading program instills culture of reading in family’s home," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bilingualism.' 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 bilingualism

1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of bilingualism was in 1873

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Statistics for bilingualism

Last Updated

17 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bilingualism.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bilingualism. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bilingualism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bilingualism

Britannica English: Translation of bilingualism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bilingualism

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