id·​i·​o·​syn·​cra·​sy ˌi-dē-ə-ˈsiŋ-krə-sē How to pronounce idiosyncrasy (audio)
plural idiosyncrasies
: a peculiarity of constitution or temperament : an individualizing characteristic or quality
: individual hypersensitiveness (as to a drug or food)
: characteristic peculiarity (as of temperament)
broadly : eccentricity
idiosyncratic adjective
idiosyncratically 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 idiosyncrasies.
Recent Examples on the Web Lake points out that these quirks don’t align with the kinds of words children learn most quickly, which suggests the model has nonhuman idiosyncrasies. Lauren Leffer, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2024 Football podcasts provide, as podcasts will, a useful mix of objective information and individual idiosyncrasy, and a year’s worth of listening makes some commonalities evident. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 27 Jan. 2024 While originally imagined as a bit part, showrunners Charles Rogers and Sarah-Violet Bliss told Vanity Fair that it was beefed up to showcase Escola’s ability to mirror the idiosyncrasies of older women. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 6 Feb. 2024 Whatever San Francisco’s idiosyncrasies, plenty of other US towns, cities and states are contending with similar challenges in finding officers. Bloomberg, The Mercury News, 9 Jan. 2024 Not that Milk are suddenly incorporating traditional Irish music, but as bassist Conor King and drummer Morgan Wilson note, those sounds can inform everything from unexpected instrument choices to song arrangements to linguistic idiosyncrasies. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 5 Jan. 2024 Antha Pantha skates across the track with the flirtatious charisma of classic-era Lil Kim, always tempered by her own comedic idiosyncrasies in her lyricism and tone. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 4 Dec. 2023 Countless depictions cast light on his idiosyncrasies and vanities. Jacob Bernstein, New York Times, 2 Dec. 2023 Above all, Keith is presented merely as a bundle of idiosyncrasies and remains a cipher. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 12 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'idiosyncrasy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of idiosyncrasy was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near idiosyncrasy

Cite this Entry

“Idiosyncrasy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural idiosyncrasies
: a way of behaving or thinking that is characteristic of a person

Medical Definition


id·​io·​syn·​cra·​sy ˌid-ē-ə-ˈsiŋ-krə-sē How to pronounce idiosyncrasy (audio)
plural idiosyncrasies
: a peculiarity of physical or mental constitution or temperament
: individual hypersensitiveness (as to a drug or food)
anemia accompanying the use of a sulfa drug is usually considered to be due to idiosyncrasy

More from Merriam-Webster on idiosyncrasy

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