col·​lo·​qui·​al·​ism kə-ˈlō-kwē-ə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce colloquialism (audio)
: a colloquial expression
"Chicken out" is a colloquialism for "to lose one's nerve."
: a local or regional dialect expression
"Bodacious" originated as a Southern colloquialism.
: colloquial style
the appeal of the author's colloquialism

Example Sentences

His English is very good, but he has trouble understanding certain colloquialisms.
Recent Examples on the Web This 100 percent Shiraz stunner from Australia’s Barossa Valley is named for the local colloquialism for estate manager, Factor. Mike Desimone And Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 11 Nov. 2022 Years have passed, yet many Wisconsinites continue to refer to ATMs as TYME machines, a colloquialism that confounds the rest of the world to this day. Karl Ebert, Journal Sentinel, 14 Oct. 2022 Gundi means female thug, a Hindi colloquialism often used when referring to rebellious and independent women who live on their own terms. Tasnim Ahmed, Vogue, 12 Oct. 2022 That snippet of Puerto Rican colloquialism — a tiny snapshot of everyday life on the streets of San Juan — traveled everywhere. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 19 Sep. 2022 Members are sometimes referred to by a pejorative colloquialism derived from the name of the group's founder — the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Grayson Quay, The Week, 10 July 2022 The album, recorded in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, is riddled with references and colloquialism from the neighboring islands. Marjua Estevez,, 11 May 2022 In 2021, Central Catholic was built different, as the colloquialism goes. oregonlive, 4 Dec. 2021 The characters’ behavior and language have a colloquialism to them that is supplemented by popular Spanish music, celebrations and, importantly, a sense of melodrama that has always been a distinctive part of local storytelling. Jamie Lang, Variety, 7 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


see colloquy

First Known Use

1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of colloquialism was in 1810

Dictionary Entries Near colloquialism

Cite this Entry

“Colloquialism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


col·​lo·​qui·​al·​ism kə-ˈlō-kwē-ə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce colloquialism (audio)
: a colloquial expression
: colloquial style

More from Merriam-Webster on colloquialism

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