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 There is a reason contact languages have traditionally commanded less respect, says Nala H. Lee, a linguist at the National University of Singapore who wrote an overview of the status of contact languages in the 2020 Annual Review of Linguistics. John Wenz, TheWeek, "The fragile state of contact languages," 20 Sep. 2020 Unfortunately for the Renaissance linguist, between the fifth and first centuries B.C. hieroglyphs were superseded by Persian, Greek and Latin, the alphabetic languages of Egypt’s successive foreign occupants. Maxwell Carter, WSJ, "‘The Riddle of the Rosetta’ Review: Found in Translation," 17 Sep. 2020 Fisher, a young Harvard graduate with skills as an architect and linguist, had sailed to Blue Hill to serve as its pastor in 1795. Lucy Jakub, The New York Review of Books, "Maine’s Sublime Canvas of Contradictions," 12 Sep. 2020 Hired as a contract linguist in the FBI's Honolulu Field Office, Ma was assigned to review and translate Chinese documents. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Former CIA officer charged with spying for China, conspiring with relative who was also ex-CIA," 18 Aug. 2020 The boy was a nimble navigator, a skilled linguist and monger of gossip. Jon T. Coleman, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ten Curious Cases of Getting Lost in the Wilderness," 12 Aug. 2020 The escalation seemed contrived to Mr. Jones, a U.S. Army linguist. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why even ‘the Atlanta way’ faces a reckoning on policing," 25 June 2020 Some interpreters, translators and linguists have brought similar criticisms to light. Washington Post, "Can California reign in tech’s gig platforms? A primer on the bold state law that will try," 14 Jan. 2020 SyFy suddenly needed a linguist who could build a language out of dozens of parts. Annalee Newitz And Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Nick Farmer knows dozens of languages, so he invented one for The Expanse," 22 Dec. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of linguist was in 1591

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Statistics for linguist

Last Updated

29 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Linguist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for linguist


How to pronounce linguist (audio)

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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