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[ling-gwist] /ˈlɪŋ gwɪst/
a specialist in linguistics.
a person who is skilled in several languages; polyglot.
Origin of linguist
1580-90; < Latin lingu(a) tongue, speech + -ist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for linguist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His tongue is very voluble, which, with canting, proves him a linguist.

  • Mr Plornish could not conceal his exultation in her accomplishments as a linguist.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • A linguist of nearly 40 years standing, and nearly 20 years resident abroad.

    The Aural System Anonymous
  • Put your qualification as a resident merchant and as a linguist as strongly as you like.

    At Aboukir and Acre George Alfred Henty
  • The keeper of the house where they lodged was in his way a character and a linguist.

    The Gypsies Charles G. Leland
  • I do, sir; I am no linguist, but I believe the words are synonymous.

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • Ross was quite a student in his way and a good deal of a linguist.

    The Heart of Arethusa

    Francis Barton Fox
British Dictionary definitions for linguist


a person who has the capacity to learn and speak foreign languages
a person who studies linguistics
(W African) especially (Ghanaian) the spokesman for a chief
Word Origin
C16: from Latin lingua tongue
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for linguist

1580s, "a master of language, one who uses his tongue freely," a hybrid from Latin lingua "language, tongue" (see lingual) + -ist. Meaning "a student of language" first attested 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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