Definition of Tagalog in US English:



  • 1A member of a people originally of central Luzon in the Philippine Islands.

    • ‘The major ethnolinguistic groups that have shaped politics in the Philippines were the Tagalogs, Ilocanos, and Pampangans of Luzon, the Cebuanos of the Visayas, and the Muslim Maranaos and Tausugs of Mindanao.’
    • ‘Men were recruited from as far away as Albay in the Bicol region and even Panay in the Visayas though the majority of workers were Tagalogs, Pangasinans, Pampangans, Igorots and increasingly Ilocanos.’
    • ‘Recruiting efforts after 1909 centered on the Visayan Islands, Cebu in particular, and Luzon's Tagalogs.’
  • 2The Austronesian language of the Tagalog. Its vocabulary has been much influenced by Spanish and English, and it is the basis of a standardized national language of the Philippines (Filipino).

    • ‘While the common language is Tagalog, almost everyone has a good grasp of English.’
    • ‘Church services in San Francisco, as in most major urban areas, are offered in many languages, including Tagalog, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Korean, Polish, Mandarin, and Cantonese.’
    • ‘He speaks in slow English with some Tagalog, although most would prefer Ilocano.’
    • ‘Orders to the units would come down in English, but they still needed to be translated into Spanish, Tagalog, or any of the other dialects used by commonwealth troops.’
    • ‘That could be Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, or Tagalog.’
    • ‘It's not Canadians’ fault he lapsed into his native Tagalog for a while there at the end.’
    • ‘In 1937, the government decided to promote the use of Tagalog as the national language.’
    • ‘All 3 nurses were college graduates, had experience translating English into Tagalog, had been raised in the Philippines, and now reside in the United States.’
    • ‘It was a joy to sit amid thirty or so girls and give a devotional talk as two of the housemothers translated my English into Tagalog.’
    • ‘She has a good ear for dialogue and represents the sound of Filipino speech well with a judicious use of phrases and words in Tagalog and Spanish.’
    • ‘Discounting English, he's fluent in French, Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog, a Filipino language.’
    • ‘The languages in which we interviewed were Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Urdu, Farsi, Dari, Arabic, Korean, Hindi, Spanish, and English.’
    • ‘I took an exam for Tagalog, the language I learned to speak in the Philippines, and earned 10 credits for passing that exam.’
    • ‘The libretto is mainly written in English with some parts in Tagalog, Japanese and Spanish.’
    • ‘Chinese was the mother tongue of just under 25 percent, while Arabic, Punjabi, Tagalog, Tamil, and Persian together accounted for about 20 percent.’
    • ‘The opera is sung mostly in Japanese, and some parts in English, Tagalog and Spanish, with the Filipino soloists also singing in Japanese.’
    • ‘He learned enough Thai to get by, to add to his fluency in Tagalog (his native tongue), English and Spanish.’
    • ‘Now, my Tagalog isn't strong enough for me to have responded in kind, but I did cast her a withering glance.’
    • ‘And since I'm from the Philippines, I speak Tagalog.’
    • ‘At the time of Philippine independence, about 25 percent of Filipinos spoke Tagalog, the language of central Luzon.’


  • Relating to the Tagalog or their language.

    • ‘I couldn't think of the Tagalog word for ‘brave’.’
    • ‘Is it true that you and your brothers have all pure Tagalog names?’
    • ‘As I've mentioned before, I wrote a paper on Tagalog semantics.’
    • ‘As a child, Lina watched, enthralled, as old Tagalog movies flickered on the schoolhouse wall.’
    • ‘The Tagalog text of the poem revisits the Balangiga incident.’


The name in Tagalog, from tagá ‘native’ + ilog ‘river’.