Definition of monoglot in English:



  • Using or speaking only one language.

    ‘monoglot Irish-speakers’
    • ‘Our already ideologically narrow local media sphere is further narrowed by this recycling of a globally homogenized, monoglot worldview.’
    • ‘Growing up bilingual in English and German, Hobsbawm picked up three or four other languages along the way (he reproves monoglot historians for their provincialism).’
    • ‘He is the darling of German society magazines and is the kind of multilingual European who puts monoglot Brits to shame.’
    • ‘It is also an encouragement to monoglot speakers to learn the language when they see it in print in such a popular paper as your own.’
    • ‘In 1901, 89.6 per cent spoke Welsh with 47.7 being monoglot Welsh.’
    • ‘As an Irishman and an Englishspeaker, Martin was something of a rarity in the Vatican, which was top-heavy at the time with monoglot Italians.’
    • ‘At the 1981 census, there were little over 80,000 speakers, with only a few hundred under the age of five and there are few monoglot speakers above this age.’
    • ‘When the Assembly was operating, we would hear monoglot Sinn Féiners ending their speeches with a word or two of Irish.’
    • ‘While it is reasonable to suppose that many people continued to live in a monoglot world, there were multicultural societies in Britain and Ireland at this time too.’
    • ‘Danish students are reported using the English definite article more often than monoglot speakers of English.’
    • ‘Although it was spoken by 93 per cent in 1901, with 50.4 monoglot, the proportion had declined to 59.1 per cent in 1991.’
    • ‘Scotland has never been a monoglot country, but has had at least three languages, of which Scots is one and Gaelic another.’


  • A person who speaks only one language.

    • ‘Thus Bill Labov is not a monoglot, as it happens, but I don't believe that any of his major contributions depend on his speaking or reading any languages other than English.’
    • ‘As a monoglot, I'd love for our stuff to be available in as many languages as possible.’
    • ‘Lest the reader think that I am flexing my achievements here, I should also point out that despite several years of Spanish and some time knocking around in Germany, I'm a hopeless monoglot.’
    • ‘One group is sure to complain about such an arrangement, and that is the small number of Mainlander Mandarin monoglots.’
    • ‘I know I'm a monoglot but usually I can work out roughly what something means.’
    • ‘This may explain why the English footballer remains a resolute monoglot.’


Mid 19th century: from Greek monoglōttos, from monos single + glōtta tongue.