lin·​guist | \ ˈliŋ-gwist How to pronounce linguist (audio) \

Definition of linguist

1 : a person accomplished in languages especially : one who speaks several languages
2 : a person who specializes in linguistics

Examples of linguist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Herrington, who retired from the Army as a colonel in 1998, was a captain in 1975 stationed at the embassy as a linguist. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Aug. 2021 Worse still, his knowledge of French culture is nil, while his gifts as a linguist are limited to emitting short, gruff sentences in English. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 29 July 2021 There are 32 Mayan languages, for example, according to Danny Law, a linguist at the University of Texas at Austin. Leila Miller Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2021 Records show that candidate successfully served as a linguist for three years. Washington Post, 6 July 2021 Drinov is a linguist who harbored dreams of obtaining a doctorate in the United States despite never having gone to college. Dake Kang, Star Tribune, 19 May 2021 Montell, a linguist and the author previously of Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language, is a breezy writer and an empathetic guide to the various corners of American subcultures. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 10 June 2021 Microsoft’s 12-year-old Windows 7 operating system for ultrasound imaging of human tongues, says Lauren Ackerman, the linguist who manages the laboratory. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, 2 June 2021 These include podcaster Dave Rubin, a Silicon Valley executive with; a Dallas rapper named Eric July from the band Backwordz; and Sowell’s friend Steven Pinker, the Harvard professor and linguist. Kyle Smith, National Review, 8 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of linguist

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for linguist

Latin lingua language, tongue

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Time Traveler for linguist

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The first known use of linguist was in 1591

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Statistics for linguist

Last Updated

6 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Linguist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for linguist



English Language Learners Definition of linguist

: a person who speaks several languages
: a person who studies linguistics


lin·​guist | \ ˈliŋ-gwist How to pronounce linguist (audio) \

Kids Definition of linguist

1 : a person skilled in languages
2 : a person who specializes in the study of human speech


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