idiomatic

adjective
id·​i·​o·​mat·​ic | \ ˌi-dē-ə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce idiomatic (audio) \

Definition of idiomatic

1 : of, relating to, or conforming to idiom
2 : peculiar to a particular group, individual, or style

Other Words from idiomatic

idiomatically \ ˌi-​dē-​ə-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce idiomatic (audio) \ adverb
idiomaticness \ ˌi-​dē-​ə-​ˈma-​tik-​nəs How to pronounce idiomatic (audio) \ noun

Did you know?

The speech and writing of a native-born English-speaker may seem crude, uneducated, and illiterate, but will almost always be idiomatic—that is, a native speaker always sounds like a native speaker. For a language learner, speaking and writing idiomatically in another language is the greatest challenge. Even highly educated foreign learners—professors, scientists, doctors, etc.—rarely succeed in mastering the kind of idiomatic English spoken by an American 7th-grader.

Examples of idiomatic in a Sentence

the new teacher's idiomatic approach to dealing with special-needs students is already showing signs of success
Recent Examples on the Web Originally written for piano, violinists Blake Pouliot and Tessa Lark, violist Masumi Per Rostad and cellist Jay Campbell played an idiomatic arrangement (uncredited in the program) that went down as smoothly as pricey vodka. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Aug. 2022 Those who speak both say Cantonese is more colorful and idiomatic than Mandarin, with more cursing. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 23 Apr. 2022 Those who speak both say Cantonese is more colorful and idiomatic than Mandarin, with more cursing. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 23 Apr. 2022 Those who speak both say Cantonese is more colorful and idiomatic than Mandarin, with more cursing. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 23 Apr. 2022 What matters is that they be kept inside recognizably idiomatic speech. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 Those who speak both say Cantonese is more colorful and idiomatic than Mandarin, with more cursing. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 23 Apr. 2022 Out of obscure British usage a term became idiomatic in America: stagflation. Brian Domitrovic, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Those who speak both say Cantonese is more colorful and idiomatic than Mandarin, with more cursing. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 23 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of idiomatic

1712, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of idiomatic was in 1712

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idiom

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idiometer

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Last Updated

10 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Idiomatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idiomatic. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on idiomatic

Nglish: Translation of idiomatic for Spanish Speakers

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