[ 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for linguist

British Dictionary definitions for linguist


/ (ˈlɪŋɡwɪst) /


a person who has the capacity to learn and speak foreign languages
a person who studies linguistics
Western African and esp Ghanaian the spokesman for a chief

Word Origin for linguist

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

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