colloquialism

noun
col·lo·qui·al·ism | \kə-ˈlō-kwē-ə-ˌli-zəm \

Definition of colloquialism 

1a : a colloquial expression "Chicken out" is a colloquialism for "to lose one's nerve."

b : a local or regional dialect expression "Bodacious" originated as a Southern colloquialism.

2 : colloquial style the appeal of the author's colloquialism

Examples of colloquialism in a Sentence

His English is very good, but he has trouble understanding certain colloquialisms.

Recent Examples on the Web

Osama bin Laden reportedly dropped a few American colloquialisms right before 9/11. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Don Trump Jr. Just Used the Word ‘Lit’ and I Feel Triggered," 27 June 2018 Buckley’s dialogue sounds like the witty combination of the vulgar and formal in Restoration comedy, but sprinkled into it — and one must assume this is deliberate — are modern colloquialisms. John Vernon, New York Times, "Finding the Funny in 17th-Century History," 1 June 2018 Another challenge of interpretation is conveying the little things, jokes, slang terms or colloquialisms, that can get lost in the conversation. Eli Meixler, Time, "Meet the 'Unsung Hero' Who Interpreted for President Trump During His 1-on-1 With Kim Jong Un," 13 June 2018 And in the case of Crikey steveirwini, a rare snail from northern Queensland, even the genus name honors Irwin, in the form of his favoured colloquialism. Kevin Thiele, Smithsonian, "Why Scientists Name Species," 28 Apr. 2018 The video shows the pair, along with Pat’s brother Robert, reminiscing on the birthday girl’s life — and even includes some hilarious Oklahoma colloquialism! Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Jennifer Garner Posts Adorable Video for Mom's 80th Birthday: 'You’re as Lovable as They Come'," 16 May 2018 Kid Fury and Todrick Hall bickering about white female pop stars using all the Black gay colloquialisms that have yet to be appropriated by said white women was gold. refinery29.com, "Why This Dear White People Lesbian Narrative Is So Important," 8 May 2018 Both Rabaiotti and Caruso were surprised to find the proud history of animal farting in colloquialism around the world. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "'Does It Fart?' Answers the Important Questions," 3 Apr. 2018 Vernacular New York: The people there have odd accents and colloquialisms. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Lions coaching search: Why Matt Patricia should pick Detroit over N.Y.," 12 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'colloquialism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of colloquialism

1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for colloquialism

see colloquy

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Time Traveler for colloquialism

The first known use of colloquialism was in 1810

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More Definitions for colloquialism

colloquialism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of colloquialism

: a word or phrase that is used mostly in informal speech : a colloquial expression

colloquialism

noun
col·lo·qui·al·ism | \kə-ˈlō-kwē-ə-ˌli-zəm \

Kids Definition of colloquialism

: a word or expression used in or suited to familiar and informal conversation

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Comments on colloquialism

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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