idiosyncrasy

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noun id·i·o·syn·cra·sy \ˌi-dē-ə-ˈsiŋ-krə-sē\

Definition of idiosyncrasy

plural

idiosyncrasies

  1. 1a :  a peculiarity of constitution or temperament :  an individualizing characteristic or qualityb :  individual hypersensitiveness (as to a drug or food)

  2. 2 :  characteristic peculiarity (as of temperament); broadly :  eccentricity

idiosyncratic

play \ˌi-dē-ō-(ˌ)sin-ˈkra-tik\ adjective

idiosyncratically

play \ˌi-dē-ō-(ˌ)sin-ˈkra-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of idiosyncrasy in a Sentence

  1. Her habit of using like in every sentence was just one of her idiosyncrasies.

  2. The current system has a few idiosyncracies.

Recent Examples of idiosyncrasy from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of idiosyncrasy

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


IDIOSYNCRASY Defined for English Language Learners

idiosyncrasy

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noun

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

idiosyncrasy

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noun id·i·o·syn·cra·sy \ˌi-dē-ə-ˈsiŋ-krə-sē\

Definition of idiosyncrasy for Students

plural

idiosyncrasies

  1. :  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 Dictionary

idiosyncrasy

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noun id·io·syn·cra·sy \ˌid-ē-ə-ˈsiŋ-krə-sē\

Medical Definition of idiosyncrasy

plural

idiosyncrasies

  1. 1:  a peculiarity of physical or mental constitution or temperament

  2. 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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