[ muhl-tee-ling-gwuh l, muhl-tahy- or, Canadian, -ling-gyoo-uh l ]
/ ˌmʌl tiˈlɪŋ gwəl, ˌmʌl taɪ- or, Canadian, -ˈlɪŋ gyu əl /


using or able to speak several or many languages with some facility.
spoken or written in several or many languages: a multilingual broadcast.
dealing with or involving several or many languages: a multilingual dictionary of business terms.


a multilingual person.

Nearby words

  1. multilayered,
  2. multilevel,
  3. multiline insurer,
  4. multilineal,
  5. multilinear form,
  6. multilingualism,
  7. multilith,
  8. multilobar,
  9. multilobular,
  10. multilocal

Origin of multilingual

First recorded in 1830–40; multi- + lingual

Related formsmul·ti·lin·gual·ly, adverbmul·ti·lin·gual·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for multilingual

British Dictionary definitions for multilingual


/ (ˌmʌltɪˈlɪŋɡwəl) /


able to speak more than two languages
written or expressed in more than two languagesCompare bilingual, monolingual
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 multilingual



also multi-lingual, 1838, from multi- + Latin lingua "language," literally "tongue" (see lingual). Related: Multilingually; multilingualism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper