mul·​ti·​lin·​gual ˌməl-tē-ˈliŋ-gwəl How to pronounce multilingual (audio)
: of, having, or expressed in several languages
a multilingual sign
multilingual dictionaries
: using or able to use several languages especially with equal fluency
multilingual translators
multilingualism noun
ˌməl-tē-ˈliŋ-gwə-lē How to pronounce multilingual (audio)

Did you know?

The roots of multilingual come from Latin. If you happen to prefer Greek, use the synonym polyglot, in which poly- has the same meaning as multi-, and -glot means the same thing as -lingual. The best way to become multilingual is probably to be born in a bilingual (two-language) household; learning those first two seems to give the mind the kind of exercise that makes later language-learning easy.

Examples of multilingual in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As of 2022, the school district has 35,000 multilingual learners with home languages other than English. Heather Hunter, Washington Examiner, 27 Nov. 2023 Along with great food, natural hot springs, and cultural diversions, the country should be on your radar for your next winter getaway. 01 Niseko Niseko is probably Japan’s most popular ski destination for international visitors, with lots of multilingual support and plenty of creature comforts. Selena Takigawa Hoy, Travel + Leisure, 24 Nov. 2023 Echo worked as an on-set translator for the multilingual film. Kaitlin Stevens, Peoplemag, 23 Nov. 2023 Andrea Bocelli made an appearance — and the 2023 person of the year was none other than the multilingual Italian diva, LGBTQ+ advocate and philanthropist Laura Pausini. Suzy Exposito, Los Angeles Times, 20 Nov. 2023 With no need for subtitles, Nguyen creates a multilingual play, establishing point of view in a way that’s both funny and profound. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 1 Nov. 2023 More than that, the entire production with its cross-cultural, multinational, multilingual cast, writer, and director exists in this previously unimaginable hybrid space. Han Zhang, The New Yorker, 27 Oct. 2023 But Heavy Heavy is a joyous mashup of glitchy, multilingual singalongs, danceable drumming, and righteous cacophonies.—C.Se. Zach Bryan, Zach Bryan How to characterize the Zach Bryan phenomenon? Liam Hess, Vogue, 23 Oct. 2023 At this mosque, multilingual robots are being deployed for multiple purposes, including providing answers to questions related to ritual performances in 11 languages. Pauline Hope Cheong, The Conversation, 19 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'multilingual.' 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

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of multilingual was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near multilingual

Cite this Entry

“Multilingual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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