Definition of colloquial
2a : used in or characteristic of familiar and informal conversation <In colloquial English, “kind of” is often used for “somewhat” or “rather.”>; also : unacceptably informalb : using conversational style <a colloquial writer>
colloquialityplay \-ˌlō-kwē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun
colloquiallyplay \-ˈlō-kwē-ə-lē\ adverb
Examples of colloquial in a sentence
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
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
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
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
<the new coworker's rudeness soon began—to use a colloquial expression—to rub me the wrong way>
<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
First Known Use: 1751
COLLOQUIAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of colloquial for English Language Learners
: used when people are speaking in an informal way
: using an informal style
COLLOQUIAL Defined for Kids
Definition of colloquial for Students
: used in or suited to familiar and informal conversation <colloquial language>
Seen and Heard
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