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


the ability to speak two languages fluently.
the habitual use of two languages.
Canadian. a government-supported program encouraging all citizens to acquire a knowledge of both English and French.

Also bi·lin·gual·i·ty [bahy-ling-gwal-i-tee or, Canadian, -ling-gyoo-al-] /ˌbaɪ lɪŋˈgwæl ɪ ti or, Canadian, -lɪŋ gyuˈæl-/.

Origin of bilingualism

First recorded in 1870–75; bilingual + -ism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bilingualism

Historical Examples of bilingualism

  • Associated words: bilingual, diglot, bilingualism, bilinguist.

    Putnam's Word Book

    Louis A. Flemming

  • Bilingualism must thus be considered as a solution of the language question in Belgium in the fifteenth century.


    Emile Cammaerts

  • Instead of threatening national unity, bilingualism was its necessary condition.


    Emile Cammaerts

Word Origin and History for bilingualism

1873, from bilingual + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper