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

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Other Words from idiomatic

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

Like the idiomatic Chinese expressions, social-media chengyu are highly context-dependent and assume intimacy with a certain culture — in the case of social media, that’s roughly the culture depicted in Mike Judge’s prophetic Idiocracy. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "A Herd Has No Mind," 11 July 2019 Hip-hop's fast pace, rife with slang, double meanings, idiomatic expressions and plays on words — or made-up words — can be the most challenging. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "ASL interpreters bring music to life for deaf concertgoers at festivals like Forecastle," 3 July 2019 Paolo Bortolameolli led an idiomatic, agile ensemble of L.A. Phil players. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Meredith Monk’s “ATLAS” and the L.A. Phil’s Extraordinary Season," 24 June 2019 Once again Muti went for pastel timbres and understated elegance, molding the spare string complement around the tasteful, idiomatic solo playing of Sarah Bullen, the CSO’s splendid principal harpist. John Von Rhein,, "Review: Muti, CSO draw convincing contrasts in music of Debussy and Tchaikovsky," 20 Apr. 2018 With conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya firmly in control, the orchestra was much more lively and idiomatic than the staging. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "A Pair of U.S. Premieres at Spoleto Festival USA," 29 May 2018 With ordinary emotion sung in idiomatic English having been reclaimed by the singer-songwriters, theatrical music could borrow rock style but move backward in form, toward operetta and melodrama. Steven Strogatz, The New Yorker, "Did Andrew Lloyd Webber Ruin the Musical or Rescue It?," 20 Feb. 2017 Honeck paced the scherzo as moderately as Mahler specified in the score, bringing a truly idiomatic grace to those lilting evocations of Viennese landler and waltz. John Von Rhein,, "Manfred Honeck shows why he remains one of the CSO's most valued guest conductors," 26 Jan. 2018 Then, too, the superbly idiomatic Bartok recordings Solti made in Chicago remain a cornerstone of his discography, a loving homage to his great countryman that brought out the best in him and his magnificent orchestra. John Von Rhein,, "Georg Solti's golden legacy lives on in full CSO recordings set," 12 Dec. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of idiomatic

1712, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for idiomatic

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for idiomatic

The first known use of idiomatic was in 1712

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More from Merriam-Webster on idiomatic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with idiomatic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for idiomatic

Spanish Central: Translation of idiomatic

Nglish: Translation of idiomatic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on idiomatic

What made you want to look up idiomatic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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