[ bahy-ling-gwuh-liz-uhm or, Canadian, -ling-gyoo-uh- ]

  1. the ability to speak two languages fluently.

  2. the habitual use of two languages.

  1. (in Canada) a national policy supporting the use of both official languages (French and English) by various means, such as mandatory bilingual product labeling, compulsory teaching of both languages in schools, the guarantee of publicly funded schools in the minority official language where numbers warrant, and the delivery of government services in both languages.

Origin of bilingualism

First recorded in 1870–75; bilingual + -ism
  • Rarely bi·lin·gual·i·ty [bahy-ling-gwal-i-tee or, Canadian, -ling-gyoo-al-] /ˌbaɪ lɪŋˈgwæl ɪ ti or, Canadian, -lɪŋ gyuˈæl-/ (for defs. 1, 2) .

Words Nearby bilingualism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use bilingualism in a sentence