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[ling-gwist] /ˈlɪŋ gwɪst/
a specialist in linguistics.
a person who is skilled in several languages; polyglot.
1580-90; < Latin lingu(a) tongue, speech + -ist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for linguists
  • It has space for everyone from hardcore theoreticians and linguists to robot-builders.
  • We are fully aware and supportive of the many linguists and anthropologists who are working in the region.
  • Some hobbyist linguists have even parsed the multiple spellings into computer code and a handy chart.
  • linguists study the way language works in the brain, and tend to leave condemnations of usage to grammarians.
  • linguists are chronicling how nomadic communication changes language itself, and thus thought.
  • Semantic competence is in large part the ability to perform and understand what philosophers and linguists call speech acts.
  • But linguists have devoted significant brain cells to figuring out why there are so many words that mean more than one thing.
  • Writing systems are still coming into existence, consciously designed by trained linguists.
  • It is a great blog run by a group of big name linguists.
  • Phonics generalizations from reading experts and from linguists are presented.
British Dictionary definitions for linguists


a person who has the capacity to learn and speak foreign languages
a person who studies linguistics
(W African) especially (Ghanaian) the spokesman for a chief
Word Origin
C16: from Latin lingua tongue
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for linguists



1580s, "a master of language, one who uses his tongue freely," a hybrid from Latin lingua "language, tongue" (see lingual) + -ist. Meaning "a student of language" first attested 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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