polyglot (adj.)

1650s, of persons, "using many languages;" 1670s, of books, "containing many languages," perhaps via Medieval Latin polyglottus, from Greek polyglōttos "speaking many languages," literally "many-tongued," from polys "many" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill") + glōtta, Attic variant of glōssa "language," literally "tongue" (see gloss (n.2)). As a noun from 1640s, "one who speaks or writes many languages." Related: Polyglottic; polyglottous.

Origin and meaning of polyglot

updated on October 13, 2021