mono·​lin·​gual | \ ˌmä-nə-ˈliŋ-gwəl How to pronounce monolingual (audio) , ˌmō-, -ˈliŋ-gyə-wəl \

Definition of monolingual

: having or using only one language

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Other Words from monolingual

monolingual noun

Examples of monolingual in a Sentence

He regrets being monolingual and wishes he were bilingual.
Recent Examples on the Web Many are seniors, monolingual immigrants or families verging on homelessness. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: May 1-2," 3 May 2020 The fact that researchers can discern bilingualism at an early age indicates that the brains of monolingual and bilingual babies are subject to unique and different patterns of neuronal imprinting. Adrian Woolfson, WSJ, "‘The Bilingual Brain’ Review: Two Souls in One Body," 5 Mar. 2020 López spent her last 30 minutes before polls closed helping one voter, a monolingual Spanish speaker, find her polling place. Jackie Fielder, Teen Vogue, "Gabriela López Just Became the Youngest Elected Official in San Francisco," 11 Jan. 2019 And the saga continues: A new Northwestern University study has found that bilingual and monolingual people listening to the same person speaking can hear two completely different sounds. Darcel Rockett,, "The other Yanny vs. Laurel: How learning a 2nd language alters sensory perception," 25 May 2018 But as officials see it, a monolingual China is more likely to be a strong and unified one. The Economist, "China is becoming more tolerant of some regional Han languages," 17 May 2018 How can monolingual adults such as myself learn a second language (on their own time, from their own home and ideally with little to no money spent)? NBC News, "How to learn a new language (in 15-minute a day installments)," 10 May 2018 Often, the United States is seen as monolingual, and that’s not the case at all. John Timpane,, "Meet Philadelphia's new poet laureate, Raquel Salas Rivera: Poet, migrant, bridge-builder," 8 Jan. 2018 Researchers have also found that bilingual children are less impulsive than their monolingual peers. Ida Lieszkovszky,, "The challenges and rewards of bilingual parenting: Multitasking Moms and Dads," 5 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monolingual.' 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 monolingual

1879, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for monolingual

Time Traveler

The first known use of monolingual was in 1879

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Statistics for monolingual

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monolingual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for monolingual


How to pronounce monolingual (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of monolingual

: able to speak and understand only one language
: using or expressed in only one language

More from Merriam-Webster on monolingual

Spanish Central: Translation of monolingual

Nglish: Translation of monolingual for Spanish Speakers

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