bi·​lin·​gual·​ism (ˌ)bī-ˈliŋ-gwə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce bilingualism (audio)
: the ability to speak two languages
: the frequent use (as by a community) of two languages
: the political or institutional recognition of two languages

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Research shows that bilingualism can be beneficial to a child’s development and facilitates cultural understanding. Rhyan Du Peloux, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Dec. 2022 And a study in Cerebrum Medical Journal shows the same for bilingualism. Jennifer Sala, Discover Magazine, 9 Aug. 2022 Listening to and playing music builds and maintains a neuroplastic foundation, much like native bilingualism. Jennifer Sala, Discover Magazine, 9 Aug. 2022 The guide also notes that an accurate depiction of language should include not just regionally appropriate accents and idioms but also fluency based on character history and the existence of bilingualism and code-switching. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Dec. 2022 The emerging bilingualism of many Hispanic students may help facilitate advanced STEM skills through greater mathematical reasoning, procedural learning and problem-solving. Paul L. Morgan, The Conversation, 10 Nov. 2022 In Ontario, and other predominantly English-speaking provinces, there is a sense that French and bilingualism are thriving in Quebec and that further regulation is unnecessary. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, 31 Aug. 2022 Instead, for 30 years Istrians have supported a centrist political party, the Istrian Democratic Assembly, committed to bilingualism and multi-ethnic cooperation. Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Aug. 2022 While there's often old wives' tales that say bilingualism delays reading or speaking proficiency, in fact, the opposite is true. Christina Montoya Fiedler, Good Housekeeping, 22 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bilingualism was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near bilingualism

Cite this Entry

“Bilingualism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

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