bi·​lin·​gual·​ism | \(ˌ)bī-ˈliŋ-gwə-ˌli-zəm \

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

Left unsaid in campaign material, however, were his views then about bilingualism. Matt Stout,, "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 In reaction to the idea that Spanish may succumb to the same pattern that saw German, Polish and Italian largely disappear from America, today there is a growing movement to encourage bilingualism. The Economist, "Can Spanish avoid America’s language graveyard?," 28 Mar. 2018 After all the problems Canada has had with bilingualism, could its French-speaking community face the wrath of English Canada over this? Michael Taube, WSJ, "Hail to the . . . Manager?," 19 Oct. 2017 Now, educators are more aware of the value of bilingualism. Sushma Subramanian, Discover Magazine, "My Forgotten Language," 16 Oct. 2017 As a result, many educators and parents are emphasizing the benefits of bilingualism in our increasingly global society. Laura Castaneda, USA TODAY, "Spanish fluency in the U.S. decreases with each generation," 10 Sep. 2017 The swankiest Expo denizens were the 1,800 or so pavilion hostesses, kitted out in polyester or lamé uniforms and hired for more reasons than just bilingualism. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Expo 2017: Utopia, Rebooted," 22 June 2017 When Comedy Central development executives took a shining to the comedian a few years back and began developing series ideas with him, the group focused on his cultural bilingualism. Jane Borden,, "James Davis Is the Hood Adjacent Star We Need Right Now," 27 June 2017

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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