Definition of monolingual in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌmänəˈliNGɡwəl/


1(Of a person or society) speaking only one language: monolingual families
More example sentences
  • Children who acquire more than one language early can develop thinking skills that may elude monolingual children of the same age.
  • She grew up in Soviet Moscow, a supposedly monolingual society, but she remembers noticing and being fascinated by the range of accents and speech patterns she heard.
  • Very few people are now monolingual Welsh speakers, though I have met one or two in rural areas in central and northern Wales.
1.1(Of a text, conversation, etc.) written or conducted in only one language: monolingual and bilingual editions
More example sentences
  • Both monolingual dictionaries and bilingual dictionaries intended for speakers of languages other than English usually indicate the pronunciation of words.
  • Earlier monolingual dictionaries were mainly concerned with ‘hard’ words: the bookish, Latinate, and technical vocabulary of Renaissance English.
  • The market for spellcheckers and monolingual dictionaries would be greatly reduced.


A person who speaks only one language.
Example sentences
  • In all multilingual communities speakers switch among languages or varieties as monolinguals switch among styles.
  • On the one hand, the country was encouraging the study of foreign languages for English monolinguals, at great cost and with great inefficiency.
  • Such a mindset sees everything in terms of monolingualism as the norm, even though there are more bilinguals and multilinguals in the world than monolinguals.



Pronunciation: /ˌmänəˈliNGɡwəˌliz(ə)m/
Example sentences
  • Saami women went from monolingualism in Saami to monolingualism in Norwegian in a very short period of time without much of a period of transitional bilingualism.
  • They have learned the difference between bilingualism and monolingualism in a language other than English.
  • Why is this country with its apparent linguistic diversity heading toward monolingualism?

Words that rhyme with monolingual

bilingual, lingual, multilingual
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