lin·​guist ˈliŋ-gwist How to pronounce linguist (audio)
: a person accomplished in languages
especially : one who speaks several languages
: a person who specializes in linguistics

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Rude was the first employee hired in 1996 as a linguist in the CTUIR Language Program. Wil Phinney, oregonlive, 12 Nov. 2022 This jibed with an earlier finding by Asifa Majid, an Oxford University linguist and an author of the Sniffin’ Sticks study. Abigail Tucker, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Sep. 2022 Given all these concerns, one of Gebru’s collaborators in her research on large language models, Emily Bender, a computational linguist at the University of Washington, has suggested companies should stop building ultra-large language models. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 15 Sep. 2022 The story follows Bird Gardiner, who after living the last few years with his father – a former linguist who now shelves library books – has learned to disavow his artist and dissident mother. Laura Trujillo, USA TODAY, 4 Oct. 2022 To bring High Valryian to the screen, American linguist David J. Peterson used the few words Martin mentioned in the novel as a starting point. Milan Polk, Men's Health, 3 Oct. 2022 Growing up in Xinjiang, Uyghur linguist Abduweli Ayup learned about how European empires marched on China’s capital and burned ancient palaces. Dake Kang, ajc, 2 Sep. 2022 Its first president was Elisa Loncón, a Mapuche linguist who wore traditional dress to the plenary sessions and often greeted other convention members in Mapudungun, the Mapuche language., 2 Sep. 2022 But in my opinion as a German American and a linguist, this one turns out to be nearly true. Kai Von Fintel, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'linguist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin lingua language, tongue

First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of linguist was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near linguist

Cite this Entry

“Linguist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


lin·​guist ˈliŋ-gwəst How to pronounce linguist (audio)
: a person skilled in languages
: a person who specializes in linguistics
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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