Definition of polyglot in English:

polyglot

adjective

  • 1Knowing or using several languages.

    ‘a polyglot career woman’
    • ‘The six years since her debut La Llorona have taken Montreal's celebrated, polyglot chanteuse Lhasa de Sela far and wide, including a hit-and-run circus tour through France with her family.’
    • ‘A polyglot Englishman in Vienna and Berlin, a Jewish immigrant in Britain and a maverick among Communists, Hobsbawm is today almost as much at home in France, Italy and Latin America as he is in Hyde Park.’
    • ‘Many of the poems attend to the ‘errors’ inevitable in a polyglot society, particularly at the interactions between Yiddish and English.’
    • ‘But this fellow has embraced that polyglot population with a wonderful warmth that I would never have imagined…’
    • ‘He won in polyglot neighborhoods like Flushing and the Lower East Side by three-to-one and three-to-two, respectively.’
    • ‘Recent history suggests that the best option for people of my polyglot persuasion is a Republican Congress and a moderate Democrat in the White House.’
    • ‘After 1947, a vibrant, polyglot city became monocultural.’
    • ‘In Bombay, which he calls a polyglot city, the Goan world is eclectic, informed by an urban Christianity that mingles with a mainstream culture while trying to preserve its identity.’
    • ‘The polyglot orchestra backing her up plays world music from everywhere and nowhere that incorporates Middle Eastern clarinet, European glockenspiel and other mellifluous sounds in addition to Mexican mariachi guitar.’
    • ‘Rebecca West filled Black Lamb and Grey Falcon with brilliant speeches and diatribes by a polyglot cast of characters, and Furst has a similar cacophony of speakers analyzing every detail of the political situation.’
    • ‘But a major faux pas has made the new Barbie unexpectedly controversial in polyglot America: there is no Asian-American version.’
    • ‘But also in the capital a polyglot city council met for the first time, its members ranging from tribal leaders in head-dresses to women in smart business suits.’
    • ‘It is also the story of polyglot India, where most of the population speaks, and habitually switches among, several languages.’
    • ‘"I enjoy Mandarin, " said the polyglot Madigan, who speaks fluent French and German, fair Italian as well as some Putonghua.’
    • ‘The polyglot Pope, at intervals, addressed the crowd in Romanian, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, and Polish.’
    • ‘Finally, regional media is thriving on TV, satellite language channels are catering to polyglot populations in various parts of the country.’
    • ‘The patrons of the Academie are a roll call of the great and good, including Michel David-Weill, of Lazards Bank, and Sir Peter Ustinov, the polyglot actor and raconteur.’
    • ‘The polyglot entries were random, frustrating, and beautiful, a carnival of ideas, pleas, boasts, and obsolete phone numbers.’
    • ‘Malaysia must not deviate from upholding the pluralism, tolerance and understanding that are the hallmark of a civil, democratic, multireligious, multicultural and polyglot society.’
    • ‘This is Los Angeles in the year 2019, when most of the earth's inhabitants have colonized other planets, and only a polyglot refuse heap of humanity remains.’
    1. 1.1(of a book) having the text translated into several languages.
      ‘polyglot and bilingual technical dictionaries’
      • ‘The advantages of printing in a university were exemplified in the polyglot Bible produced in 1502-22 at Alcalá de Henares.’
      • ‘The Polyglot Book of Mormon allows you see side-by-side passages for English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.’

noun

  • A person who knows and is able to use several languages.

    • ‘As a polyglot (besides his native Swedish, he was fluent in Finnish, English, and German and knew some French) and cultured person, LvH was Finnish ornithology's best ambassador.’
    • ‘Later that night, when she came home, she rummaged through her books in an effort to find an essay written by a polyglot (like herself) that explains the kind of rootlessness that is hers.’
    • ‘He was a polyglot and absorbed everything around him and didn't limit himself, and that makes him exceptional in a world that too often prizes limitation.’
    • ‘Agassiz, a typical Swiss polyglot, annotated books in the language of their composition.’
    • ‘This is not the first time that a representative of The Netherlands - that distinguished nation of cycling polyglots - has cast aspersions on our linguistic abilities.’
    • ‘Diplomatic Warsaw is abuzz with rumours that Mr Kwasniewski, a smooth, tennis-playing polyglot who is seen as one of the champions of New Europe, won US backing on a visit to the White House earlier this month.’
    • ‘Slovenians, being surrounded by many countries, are mostly polyglots.’
    • ‘He deeply explored notions of love, Europe, and identity, and was a polyglot who insisted that linguistic proficiency was the key to overcoming misunderstandings and ignorance.’
    • ‘It's not that we polyglots and film buffs are not worried.’
    • ‘I have no means of telling how many polyglots of Chinese descent existed over time.’
    • ‘Not to worry, though, this 61-year-old polyglot can talk to all species with the dexterity of a Doolittle.’
    • ‘Marco Silvestri clearly think he's the only polyglot on the planet.’
    • ‘He is the son of a Russian father and a Swedish mother, and a natural polyglot.’
    • ‘A Brazilian-born polyglot who can be both charismatic and ruthless, Ghosn did not make his mark in the industry by leaving things as he found them.’
    • ‘Language was also an important consideration, but Walker claims it was polyglots, not mere English speakers, that he sought.’
    • ‘Here's a link to the original story for you Germans and polyglots out there.’
    • ‘Older Luritja speakers may still be polyglots, however they consistently live in the same region, usually the same residential community, where the same language is consistently spoken.’
    • ‘Recently, a publication has been brought out on the less-known Suddhananda Bharati, who, like Subramanya Bharati, was a polyglot.’
    • ‘Nik, as luck would have it, is something of a polyglot.’
    • ‘The rest of the participants appear to be polyglots.’
    interpreter, transcriber, transliterator, paraphraser, decipherer
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 17th century: from French polyglotte, from Greek poluglōttos, from polu- many + glōtta tongue.

Pronunciation:

polyglot

/ˈpälēˌɡlät/