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 With 2015’s Tekken 7, the team behind the series took a step forward and introduced a truly multilingual cast of characters, with each character speaking their native language, pushing Tekken’s global premise to the next level. De'angelo Epps, Wired, "Fighting Games Like Mortal Kombat Have Come a Long Way," 23 Apr. 2021 Remember to distribute the multilingual booklets on how to report a hate crime. Francine Kiefer, The Christian Science Monitor, "How one Chinatown curbs anti-Asian violence and unites a city," 20 Apr. 2021 The national Disaster Distress Helpline is a toll free, multilingual, 24/7 confidential national hotline offered year-round. Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, "In the wake of FedEx shooting, how to get help with mental health, grief and anxiety," 18 Apr. 2021 Fans in Canada can access the livestreams of the seven multilingual broadcasts at Carol Schram, Forbes, "Hockey Night In Canada Reaches Out To New Fans With Broadcasts In 7 Additional Languages," 15 Apr. 2021 While that particular effort extends through all six episodes of what is a truly international, multilingual production, there are subplots à go-go. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Spy City’ Review: Distrust in a Divided Berlin," 13 Apr. 2021 The hotel would accommodate the needs of the 15,000 athletes from around the globe, including multilingual services and a variety of food options. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "Olympians Diagnosed With COVID-19 Will Reportedly Quarantine in Designated Tokyo Hotel," 13 Apr. 2021 An online, multilingual screening form will be released later this spring and summer, after which families will be chosen at random to receive the payments. Maria Morava And Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Oakland will give low-income families of color $500 per month, no strings attached," 24 Mar. 2021 Womankind offers a 24/7 multilingual hotline, safe and confidential emergency housing, legal assistance, support groups, and therapy services for survivors, particularly Asian immigrant women. Lydia Wang,, "Here Are Direct Actions You Can Take To Help Support Asian Americans Right Now," 19 Mar. 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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Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Multilingual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 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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