idiomatic

adjective
id·i·o·mat·ic | \ ˌi-dē-ə-ˈma-tik \

Definition of idiomatic 

1 : of, relating to, or conforming to idiom

2 : peculiar to a particular group, individual, or style

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from idiomatic

idiomatically \ˌi-dē-ə-ˈma-ti-k(ə-)lē \ adverb
idiomaticness \ˌi-dē-ə-ˈma-tik-nəs \ 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

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, chicagotribune.com, "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, chicagotribune.com, "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, chicagotribune.com, "Georg Solti's golden legacy lives on in full CSO recordings set," 12 Dec. 2017 The dancing and the chorus work were first-rate; James Lowe was the idiomatic conductor. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "The New Faces of Opera," 16 Aug. 2017 The chorus sang forcefully from the pit, and the orchestra was idiomatic under the skillful leadership of Harry Bicket. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Orphée et Eurydice’ and ‘Ariane et Bachus’ Reviews," 3 Oct. 2017 His knack for keeping textures spotless, rhythms sharply etched, yielded an idiomatic rendition of Bartok’s mid-20th-century take on the baroque concerto grosso. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Schiff moves with conviction from piano bench to CSO podium," 3 Nov. 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.

See More

First Known Use of idiomatic

1712, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about idiomatic

Statistics for idiomatic

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for idiomatic

The first known use of idiomatic was in 1712

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!