Definition of linguist in English:

linguist

noun

  • 1A person skilled in foreign languages.

    • ‘Contract linguists, many of them native speakers, were quickly hired as well, but problems with them persist.’
    • ‘A skilled linguist, Marianne used her new-found freedom to become an interpreter for the British Army.’
    • ‘He was a formidable linguist, speaking 25 languages and many more dialects.’
    • ‘Our civilian contract linguist broke the language barrier.’
    • ‘He was also an accomplished linguist speaking nine foreign languages including Chinese and Tibetan.’
    • ‘She was a natural linguist and learnt Latin, Italian and English and studied their literatures.’
    • ‘If the Brigade had more Arabic linguists, the Army would have deployed them to use their language skills.’
    • ‘The contract linguist must be able to obtain a Top Secret security clearance and undergo a language proficiency screening.’
    • ‘And because of increased force projection requirements, the need for skilled linguists is growing.’
    • ‘Surely even the best linguists have to translate first into their own language, then formulate a response and then change that back into the language in question.’
    • ‘So why don't they just go out and, y'know, hire some sharp young linguists?’
    • ‘He is an extraordinary linguist; he studied Russian at university, but he is also versed in Chinese, English and French.’
    interpreter, transcriber, transliterator, paraphraser, decipherer
    View synonyms
  • 2A person who studies linguistics.

    • ‘Thus, linguists have usually treated language as an abstract object which can be accounted for without reference to social concerns of any kind.’
    • ‘These are the aspects of language that linguists refer to as ‘universal grammar’.’
    • ‘Descriptive linguists try to lay out a statement of what the conditions are for particular languages.’
    • ‘Many linguists argue instead that language arose independently of music.’
    • ‘This explosion of linguistic novelty has sent linguists reeling, a bit.’
    • ‘Languages are becoming extinct, and many have never been studied by linguists.’
    • ‘But language is defined by linguists as more than just the use of symbols, whether vocalized or not.’
    • ‘But it's shocking that linguistics and linguists haven't been celebrated in the titles of music and films.’
    • ‘Especially during the heyday of Bloomfieldian structuralism, linguists were scathing of conceptual definitions of word classes.’
    • ‘There are about 24 Dravidian languages recognized by linguists.’
    • ‘Critical linguists agree that language is constitutive - that it is the site where meanings are produced.’
    • ‘He is, after all, a distinguished professor at MIT and the most renowned linguist of the 20th century.’
    • ‘Ever since then, linguists have found all sorts of evidence that these far-flung languages must have sprung from some common source.’
    • ‘Some linguists classify the Gullah language, spoken in the North Carolina islands, as a pidgin that is based on West African syntax.’
    • ‘These categories, he says, are imposed because the languages that western linguists are familiar with have them.’
    • ‘He does have a list of books that he consults on a regular basis, but the trained eye will note that not one of them is a book by a professional linguist or even about linguistics.’
    • ‘The handler was displaying the usual slippage between folk conceptions of language and we linguists ' conceptions of same.’
    • ‘Some linguists have expressed concern that learning a foreign language too early may impact unfavourably on learners' native tongue acquisition.’
    • ‘I hope these examples are useful to linguists who are studying this topic.’
    • ‘Biologists and linguists agree that language is an important species-specific property.’

Origin

Late 16th century: from Latin lingua language + -ist.

Pronunciation:

linguist

/ˈliNGɡwəst/