Definition of trilingual in English:

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Pronunciation: /trʌɪˈlɪŋɡw(ə)l/


1Speaking three languages fluently.
Example sentences
  • According to a survey done in 1860 at least one person in the sixteen families living in the village at that time was trilingual in Finnish, Saami, and Norwegian, although the first language of all the households was Saami.
  • He grew up trilingual, in English, Mandarin Chinese and Malay.
  • And most of the young were bilingual or trilingual (reading and/or speaking French and English as well as Arabic).
1.1(Of a text or an activity) written or conducted in three languages: CNN have begun offering a trilingual entertainment service
More example sentences
  • The trilingual texts allowed him to decipher their meaning.
  • Besides, trilingual translations fill up the booklet.
  • Sherley picked up Chinese from her mother, English from her father and Spanish in school, a talent that was the foundation for what may be the world's first trilingual book by someone so young.



Example sentences
  • As a leading light in the study of trilingualism, our organisation has been involved in research since 1999, supporting postgraduate research in the area, publications by staff members and attendance at international conferences.
  • Most ethnic minorities in urban areas speak Russian rather than Georgian as a second language, but bilingualism and trilingualism are common, and Russian continues to be understood in most of the country.
  • Populations were intermixed, and there was a good deal of intermarriage, and bilingualism and trilingualism.


Mid 19th century: from tri- 'three' + Latin lingua 'tongue' + -al.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tri|lin¦gual

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