Ni hao! Comment allez-vous? Estoy bien, gracias. Sayōnara! If you understood everything you just read, you’re probably a polyglot — a person who understands multiple languages.

There are thousands of languages spoken in the world, but you don’t need to know them all to be a polyglot. The –glot comes from the Greek word for “tongue,” and the prefix poly- means “more than one,” so if you speak two or more languages, you’re technically a polyglot. Well done! Polyglot can also be used as an adjective, like describing "a polyglot neighborhood" full of people from many different cultures or the "polyglot crowd at the Olympic games."

Definitions of polyglot

n a person who speaks more than one language

Joseph Greenberg
United States linguist who studied the historical relations among 5,000 languages (1916-2001)
Zellig Sabbatai Harris
United States linguist (born in Ukraine) who developed mathematical linguistics and interpreted speech and writing in a social context (1909-1992)
bilingual, bilingualist
a person who speaks two languages fluently
transcriber, translator
a person who translates written messages from one language to another
Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being

adj having a command of or composed in many languages

“a polyglot traveler”
“a polyglot Bible contains versions in different languages”
using or knowing more than one language

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