Definition of idiosyncrasy
1a : a peculiarity of constitution or temperament : an individualizing characteristic or qualityb : individual hypersensitiveness (as to a drug or food)
2 : characteristic peculiarity (as of temperament); broadly : eccentricity
idiosyncraticplay \ˌi-dē-ō-(ˌ)sin-ˈkra-tik\ adjective
idiosyncraticallyplay \ˌi-dē-ō-(ˌ)sin-ˈkra-ti-k(ə-)lē\ 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 of idiosyncrasy from the Web
The term is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, and mental health experts debate whether or not the affliction is a true phobia, with some opting more frequently to label it an idiosyncrasy, or unusual behavior.
As a result, though, the book has a handle on many of Molina's idiosyncrasies.
That’s unusual in today’s league, in a PC world, where architectural quirks have given way to state-of-the-art facilities long on amenities, but often short on grit. Idiosyncrasies.
But others may want to hold out for the smart biographer who better contextualizes the curator’s idiosyncrasies.
Putting culturally specific forms together on the same stage points to the many different ways dancers can celebrate rhythm and the idiosyncrasies of expressing culture with one's feet.
The menu is conventional — ribs, brisket, pork, chicken, sides — but with idiosyncrasies.
With her distinct characterizations and incorporation of historically sound details, Travis resurrects the stories and idiosyncrasies of Henry VIII’s many wives.
That’s because programmers have to figure out human behavior and local traffic idiosyncrasies.
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.
Did You Know?
Idiosyncrasies are almost always regarded as harmless. So, for example, filling your house with guns and Nazi posters might be called something stronger than idiosyncratic. But if you always arrange your Gummi candies in table form by color and type, then eat them in a special order starting with the pterodactyls (purple ones must die first!), you might qualify. Harmless though your strange habits might be, they may not be the kind of thing you'd tell people about; most Americans are careful to hide their idiosyncrasies, since our culture doesn't seem to value odd behavior. The British, however, are generally fond of their eccentrics, and English villages seem to be filled with them. By the way, few words are harder to spell than idiosyncrasy—be careful.
IDIOSYNCRASY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of idiosyncrasy for English Language Learners
: an unusual way in which a particular person behaves or thinks
: an unusual part or feature of something
IDIOSYNCRASY Defined for Kids
Definition of idiosyncrasy for Students
: 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
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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