[ pol-ee-ling-gwuhl ]


  1. pertaining to, expressed in, or using several languages; multilingual.


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More About Polylingual

What does polylingual mean?

Polylingual is most commonly used to describe someone who can speak or understand multiple languages, especially someone who can speak several languages with some level of fluency.

A more commonly used synonym is multilingual. The term bilingual is commonly used to describe someone who speaks two languages, and trilingual is used to describe someone who speaks three.

Polylingual can also be used to describe things that involve or that are written or spoken in multiple languages, as in These instructions are polylingual—they’re written in seven different languages.

Example: Being polylingual is a great advantage when applying for international jobs.

Where does polylingual come from?

The word polylingual is composed of poly-, meaning “many,” and lingual, which means “pertaining to languages.” Lingual shares a root with other language-related words, like linguistics and linguaphile.

Some people who are polylingual may be masters of all the languages they speak. In this case, they’re often called polyglots. But a person might be described—or describe themselves—as polylingual even if they’re not fluent in all of the languages they can speak. Most polylingual people have differing levels of fluency for each language they know.

Countries can be described as polylingual when they have two or more official or widely used languages. India, for example, is one of the most polylingual countries, with more than 20 official languages and at least 100 others, as well as hundreds of dialects.

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What are some other forms related to polylingual?

  • polylingually (adverb)

What are some synonyms for polylingual?

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

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

How is polylingual used in real life?

Polylingual is most commonly used to describe people who speak more than three languages. Its synonym multilingual is more commonly used.



Try using polylingual!

Is polylingual used correctly in the following sentence?

In some places, the street signs are polylingual since there are multiple widely spoken languages.

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