idiosyncrasy

noun
id·​i·​o·​syn·​cra·​sy | \ ˌi-dē-ə-ˈsiŋ-krə-sē How to pronounce idiosyncrasy (audio) \
plural idiosyncrasies

Definition of idiosyncrasy

1a : a peculiarity of constitution or temperament : an individualizing characteristic or quality
b : individual hypersensitiveness (as to a drug or food)
2 : characteristic peculiarity (as of temperament) broadly : eccentricity

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Other Words from idiosyncrasy

idiosyncratic \ ˌi-​dē-​ō-​(ˌ)sin-​ˈkra-​tik How to pronounce idiosyncratic (audio) \ adjective
idiosyncratically \ ˌi-​dē-​ō-​(ˌ)sin-​ˈkra-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce idiosyncratically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of idiosyncrasy in a Sentence

Her habit of using “like” in every sentence was just one of her idiosyncrasies. The current system has a few idiosyncracies.

Recent Examples on the Web

Its different names are one of the river’s many idiosyncrasies. The Economist, "Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song," 22 June 2019 Often, Father’s Day cards and tributes include humorous jokes about the idiosyncrasies of many dads or the endearing, but amusing, rituals that often are a part of the whole dad mojo. Pat Lenhoff, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Why we should celebrate the many unique roles of dads on Father's Day," 5 June 2019 Some in Argentina think the size and speed of the IMF’s loan meant it could not be tailored to the country’s idiosyncrasies. The Economist, "In Argentina, the IMF has been neither toxic nor triumphant," 21 June 2019 The story behind how Allagash Brewing Co. and Brasserie Dupont came to collaborate on a saison begins with the style’s idiosyncrasies. Zak Stambor, chicagotribune.com, "Two storied brewers, Allagash and Dupont, come together to celebrate a storied style, saison," 18 June 2019 The artist’s exquisite map of the Valdichiana, in southern Tuscany, contains other idiosyncrasies. Claudia Kalb, National Geographic, "Explore Leonardo da Vinci works from Queen Elizabeth II's private collection," 14 May 2019 As sharing and vetting environmental data have become bigger parts of modern ecology, however, those idiosyncrasies have become less defensible, as the OHI effort came to rue. Quanta Magazine, "Awash in Sea of Data, Ecologists Turn to Open Access Tools," 24 May 2017 Hair Statements Forget uniform, twist-and-go topknots—this season, the only requisite of an updo is idiosyncrasy. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "5 Spectacular Beauty Trends That Swept the London Runways This Week," 19 Sep. 2018 The game is under siege for its delays and idiosyncrasies, the tinkering and foot-dragging that make games routinely stretch beyond the three-hour mark. WSJ, "The Baseball Game That Almost Never Ended," 28 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'idiosyncrasy.' 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 idiosyncrasy

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for idiosyncrasy

Greek idiosynkrasia, from idio- + synkerannynai to blend, from syn- + kerannynai to mingle, mix — more at crater

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Statistics for idiosyncrasy

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for idiosyncrasy

The first known use of idiosyncrasy was in 1604

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More Definitions for idiosyncrasy

idiosyncrasy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of idiosyncrasy

: an unusual way in which a particular person behaves or thinks
: an unusual part or feature of something

idiosyncrasy

noun
id·​i·​o·​syn·​cra·​sy | \ ˌi-dē-ə-ˈsiŋ-krə-sē How to pronounce idiosyncrasy (audio) \
plural idiosyncrasies

Kids Definition of idiosyncrasy

: an unusual way of behaving or thinking that is characteristic of a person When you know someone a long time, you become accustomed to their idiosyncrasies— Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator

idiosyncrasy

noun
id·​io·​syn·​cra·​sy | \ ˌid-ē-ə-ˈsiŋ-krə-sē How to pronounce idiosyncrasy (audio) \
plural idiosyncrasies

Medical Definition of idiosyncrasy

1 : a peculiarity of physical or mental constitution or temperament
2 : individual hypersensitiveness (as to a drug or food) anemia accompanying the use of a sulfa drug is usually considered to be due to idiosyncrasy

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