mono·​lin·​gual ˌmä-nə-ˈliŋ-gwəl How to pronounce monolingual (audio)
: having or using only one language
monolingual noun

Examples of monolingual in a Sentence

He regrets being monolingual and wishes he were bilingual.
Recent Examples on the Web Worse, most eating disorder specialists are monolingual English speakers, meaning family therapy sessions — the gold standard for anorexia nervosa — are eaten up by an interpreter volleying information back and forth to her parents in Spanish. Sonja Sharp, Los Angeles Times, 11 Aug. 2023 The brains of bilingual and monolingual patients matched the severity of the disease from a symptomatic perspective. Jennifer Sala, Discover Magazine, 9 Aug. 2022 Every year’s delay means a new class of kindergartners misses out on bilingual education, starting off their elementary school careers on a monolingual track. Tara García Mathewson,, 31 May 2023 His landlords had flouted city building rules, resulting in unsafe living conditions for Yu and his neighbors – many of whom are monolingual and low income. St. John Barned-Smith, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 May 2023 The variables stand for aspects of the social situation; c12 and c32, for instance, are the likelihood that bilingual speakers will become monolingual. Veronique Greenwood, Discover Magazine, 3 June 2012 Meanwhile, the other teachers are white and monolingual., 15 Mar. 2023 In October of 2018, Leslie Hernandez stood in the hallway of her building, an olive-green stucco and concrete complex in Los Angeles’s Chinatown, trying to communicate with her neighbor Benson Lai, an elder in his early 60s and a monolingual Cantonese speaker. Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, The New Republic, 2 Apr. 2021 There are several reasons the Bachman Lake area has such a low response rate: many of its families are monolingual Spanish speakers; some don't have reliable internet connection; others are living in the neighborhood temporarily, said Florencia Velasco Fortner, president of The Concilio. Carmina Tiscareño, Dallas News, 11 Aug. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'monolingual.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of monolingual was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near monolingual

Cite this Entry

“Monolingual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on monolingual

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!