Definition of colloquial
colloquialityplay \kə-ˌlō-kwē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun
colloquiallyplay \kə-ˈlō-kwē-ə-lē\ adverb
colloquial was our Word of the Day on 08/26/2011. Hear the podcast!
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
Recent Examples of colloquial from the Web
With a major in German and a minor in art history, Betty could read and write German well, and through newspapers brought to class by a professor, was skilled at colloquial German.
Like most monthly full moon's colloquial names, including January's Wolf Moon or September's Corn Moon, the Snow Moon derives its name from Native American lore.
Through Molly, a lawyer who brilliantly code-switches between corporate and colloquial vernacular, the show explores how class mobility often differs for African-American women and men.
The singular identity of islanders is marked by cultural differences like the common use of the indigenous Rapanui language and its colloquial mixing with Spanish, which locals call Rapañol.
The language of the poem was colloquial, unaffected.
Note, too, the colloquial immediacy of these voices, addressing us without introduction or pretext, speaking out of some peculiar but unspecifiable obsession.
The shots came from a semiautomatic pistol that did precisely what its colloquial name –
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'colloquial'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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
What made you want to look up colloquial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).