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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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

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

colloquiality

play \-ˌlō-kwē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun

colloquially

play \-ˈlō-kwē-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of colloquial in a sentence

  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>



Did You Know?

The noun colloquy was first used in English to refer to a conversation or dialogue, and when the adjective colloquial was formed from colloquy it had a similar focus. Over time, however, colloquial developed a more specific meaning related to language that is most suited to informal conversation - and it ultimately garnered an additional, disparaging implication of a style that seems too informal for a situation. Colloquy and colloquial trace back to the Latin verb colloqui, meaning "to converse." Colloqui in turn was formed by combining the prefix com- and loqui, "to speak." Other conversational descendants of loqui in English include "circumlocution," eloquent, loquacious, soliloquy, and ventriloquism.

Origin and Etymology of colloquial

(see colloquy)


First Known Use: 1751

Other Language Terms


COLLOQUIAL Defined for Kids

colloquial

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

Definition of colloquial for Students

  1. :  used in or suited to familiar and informal conversation <colloquial language>





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