di·​glos·​sia dī-ˈglä-sē-ə How to pronounce diglossia (audio)
: the use of two varieties of the same language in different social contexts throughout a speech community
A key defining characteristic of diglossia is that the two varieties are kept quite apart functionally. One is used in one set of circumstances and the other in an entirely different set.Ronald Wardhaugh
dī-ˈglä-sik How to pronounce diglossia (audio)

Word History


di- + Greek glôssa "tongue, language" + -ia entry 1

First Known Use

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of diglossia was in 1959

Dictionary Entries Near diglossia

Cite this Entry

“Diglossia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diglossia. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


di·​glos·​sia dī-ˈgläs-ē-ə How to pronounce diglossia (audio)
: the condition of having the tongue bifid

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