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

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 While other algorithms that try to do the same thing have been stymied by doctors’ abbreviations, Amazon claims to have trained its system to recognize the idiosyncrasies in how doctors take notes, sources told the WSJ. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Amazon will reportedly sell software that reads medical records," 27 Nov. 2018 On first glance, the president’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement may look more like an example of Republican extremism than Trumpist idiosyncrasy. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trumpism Is Having Its Best Week Ever," 10 May 2018 Drivers will need to learn its idiosyncrasies, which Hotz argues is the same for any modern, high-tech car on the road today. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "George Hotz is on a hacker crusade against the ‘scam’ of self-driving cars," 13 July 2018 Moore dutifully attacks the idiosyncrasies of the system, like the Electoral College and the Democratic Party’s system of superdelegates. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "In Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore spares no one — especially self-satisfied liberals," 7 Sep. 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

19 Jun 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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