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colloquial

play
adjective col·lo·qui·al \kə-ˈlō-kwē-əl\

Simple Definition of colloquial

  • : used when people are speaking in an informal way

  • : using an informal style

Full Definition of colloquial

  1. 1 :  of or relating to conversation :  conversational

  2. 2 a :  used in or characteristic of familiar and informal conversation; also :  unacceptably informal b :  using conversational style

colloquial noun
col·lo·qui·al·i·ty play \-ˌlō-kwē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun
col·lo·qui·al·ly play \-ˈlō-kwē-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of colloquial

  1. But I think part of this pickle that we're in—if I may be colloquial, even though I'm not running for office—is that we've lost their sense of responsibility. —Sarah Vowell, Entertainment Weekly, 24 Oct. 2008

  2. Langston was the merriest and the most colloquial of them all. “Best party I've ever been given!” he said. —Gwendolyn Brooks, Booklist, 15 Oct. 1993

  3. Mr. Salisbury's firsthand account is written in a fast-paced, chaotic and colloquial style, which often feels confused and hastily set down. —Susan Shapiro, New York Times Book Review, 10 Sept. 1989

  4. Although in the circle of his friends, where he might be unreserved with safety, he took a free share in conversation, his colloquial talents were not above mediocrity, possessing neither copiousness of ideas, nor fluency of words. —Thomas Jefferson, letter, 2 Jan. 1814

  5. <the new coworker's rudeness soon began—to use a colloquial expression—to rub me the wrong way>

  6. <a colloquial essay on what makes a marriage successful>



Origin of colloquial

(see colloquy)


First Known Use: 1751

Other Language Terms



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