mul·​ti·​lin·​gual | \ ˌməl-tē-ˈliŋ-gwəl How to pronounce multilingual (audio) , -ˈliŋ-gyə-wəl, -ˌtī- \

Definition of multilingual

1 : of, having, or expressed in several languages a multilingual sign multilingual dictionaries
2 : using or able to use several languages especially with equal fluency multilingual translators

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Other Words from multilingual

multilingualism \ ˌməl-​tē-​ˈliŋ-​gwə-​ˌli-​zəm How to pronounce multilingual (audio) , -​gyə-​wə-​ , -​ˌtī-​ \ noun
multilingually \ ˌməl-​tē-​ˈliŋ-​gwə-​lē How to pronounce multilingual (audio) , -​gyə-​wə-​lē , -​ˌtī-​ \ adverb

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 The coalition is hoping to fill all 800 appointments, or half the available 1,600 slots this weekend, through a robust, multilingual outreach and canvassing campaign. Globe Staff,, "CIC Health expands operations to Reggie Lewis Center," 26 Feb. 2021 The medical staff are diverse and multilingual themselves, which helps in providing care, debunking myths and answering questions about the vaccine. Nada Hassanein, USA TODAY, "'We are all they have': Community clinics gear up to receive more COVID-19 vaccine," 23 Feb. 2021 The Esperanza Center, a resource center for immigrants in Baltimore, has pivoted its multilingual health hotline to answer questions about the vaccine and registration. Stephanie García,, "Advocates working to get COVID-19 vaccine to Baltimore’s hard-hit Latino community," 22 Feb. 2021 The mobile clinic, run Saturday by mostly multilingual staff, served predominantly Latino seniors in Silverado Park, an area with high levels of coronavirus infections, according to city data. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Coronavirus updates from the Bay Area and beyond: Feb. 4-10, 2021," 18 Feb. 2021 The multilingual advantage can take different forms throughout a life. Kevin Carey, New York Times, "The Potential Plus of Having a Former ‘English Learner’ as Education Secretary," 18 Jan. 2021 In an interconnected world where goods, information and people cross borders with ease, being multilingual is more an asset than a liability. Kevin Carey, New York Times, "The Potential Plus of Having a Former ‘English Learner’ as Education Secretary," 18 Jan. 2021 Samir Patil is the cofounder and CEO of, a mobile-first, multilingual platform that enables creators to charge for their works. Samir Patil, Fortune, "The web must change its business model if it wants to become truly global and multilingual," 21 Dec. 2020 But this is the HFPA, a group that, laughably, given its foreign press title, has little regard for global cinema and has consistently displayed an unwillingness to grapple with the context found in multicultural and multilingual stories. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, "Golden Globes predictions ... and, yes, ‘Hamilton’ is eligible," 6 Jan. 2021

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

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for multilingual

Time Traveler

The first known use of multilingual was in 1838

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Statistics for multilingual

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Multilingual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for multilingual



English Language Learners Definition of multilingual

: able to speak and understand several languages
: using or expressed in several languages

More from Merriam-Webster on multilingual

Britannica English: Translation of multilingual for Arabic Speakers

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