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 While safety systems and a capable chassis allow the driver to deal with the idiosyncrasies of winter drivers outside, occupants can carry on in oblivious bliss. cleveland, "Big Volkswagen Atlas shrugs off the snow," 8 Feb. 2020 That, plus the film retains Tarantino’s idiosyncrasies, from extreme gore to foot worship. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Oscars 2020 Spotlight: The Directors," 6 Feb. 2020 And Fort Point, like Anchor before it, is managing to draw on the city’s own idiosyncrasies. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco’s new hometown brewery," 31 Jan. 2020 New infectious diseases come out of the blue, each with its own idiosyncrasies that militate against detailed advance planning. Robert Dingwall, Wired, "We Should Deescalate the War on the Coronavirus," 29 Jan. 2020 And interacting with customers has its own idiosyncrasies. Marc Bain, Quartz, "The unique challenges of selling fashion in China," 15 Jan. 2020 An American remake of the show, which placed the two families in New York and Pennsylvania, failed to capture the subtle idiosyncrasies that made the original so popular. The Economist, "I’m not going to lie “Gavin & Stacey” is a reminder that Britons can put differences aside," 26 Dec. 2019 Irving is also an unusual teammate prone to idiosyncrasies, given to withdrawing, given to making teammates wonder what's going on. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Why did the Nets start firestorm over Kyrie Irving's behavior?," 29 Oct. 2019 Ghosn’s idiosyncrasies and gumption—and magnetism for controversy—remind me of another leader in the world of EVs: Elon Musk. Elijah Wolfson, Time, "Carlos Ghosn, Now a Fugitive, Was an Electric-Car Visionary," 7 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for idiosyncrasy

Time Traveler

The first known use of idiosyncrasy was in 1604

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Statistics for idiosyncrasy

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Idiosyncrasy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idiosyncratic. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for idiosyncrasy

idiosyncrasy

noun
How to pronounce idiosyncrasy (audio)

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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