adjective \kə-ˈlō-kwē-əl\

: used when people are speaking in an informal way

: using an informal style

Full Definition of COLLOQUIAL

:  of or relating to conversation :  conversational
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 \-ˌlō-kwē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun
col·lo·qui·al·ly \-ˈlō-kwē-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of COLLOQUIAL

  1. <the new coworker's rudeness soon began—to use a colloquial expression—to rub me the wrong way>
  2. <a colloquial essay on what makes a marriage successful>
  3. 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


(see colloquy)
First Known Use: 1751

Other Language Terms

cognate, collocation, homonym


Next Word in the Dictionary: colloquialism
Previous Word in the Dictionary: colloquia
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