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monoglot

[ mon-uh-glot ]
/ ˈmɒn əˌglɒt /
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adjective

knowing only one language; monolingual: monoglot travelers.
composed in only one language.

noun

a person with a knowledge of only one language.

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Origin of monoglot

First recorded in 1820–30; mono- + -glot
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does monoglot mean?

A monoglot is someone who can only speak or understand one language.

Monoglot can also be used as an adjective to describe someone who can speak or understand only one language. It can also mean written in, spoken in, or involving only one language.

A more common word for both of these adjective senses is monolingual, which is often used in contrast with terms like bilingual (able to speak two languages), trilingual (able to speak three languages), and multilingual (able to speak more than two and especially several languages).

Example: One of my great regrets is being a monoglot and not learning another language when I was younger.

Where does monoglot come from?

The first records of the word monoglot come from around 1830. Mono- means “one” or “single,” and -glot comes from the Greek glōtta, meaning “tongue” (the same root is used in the word polyglot, referring to someone who speaks many languages). Etymologically, monolingual means the exact same thing as monoglotlingual, which means “pertaining to languages,” comes from the Latin word meaning “tongue.” (The same root is used in several other language-related words, like linguistics and linguaphile.)

Like monolingual, monoglot is usually used in a context that contrasts speaking only one language with speaking two or more. Due to widespread use of English throughout the world, some English speakers, particularly in the U.S. and the U.K., never learn another language, making them monoglots. A country with one predominant language may be described as a monoglot country, though of course nearly every country has some citizens who speak different languages.

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What are some synonyms for monoglot?

What are some words that share a root or word element with monoglot

What are some words that often get used in discussing monoglot?

How is monoglot used in real life?

Monoglot is typically used in the same ways as monolingual, though less commonly.

 

 

Try using monoglot!

Is monoglot used correctly in the following sentence?

Instructions used to be monoglot, but now they usually come in several languages.

British Dictionary definitions for monoglot

monoglot
/ (ˈmɒnəʊˌɡlɒt) /

adjective

having command of a single language
written in, composed of, or containing a single language

noun

a person with command of a single language

Word Origin for monoglot

C20: from mono- + Greek glōtta 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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