lo·​cu·​tion lō-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce locution (audio)
: a particular form of expression or a peculiarity of phrasing
especially : a word or expression characteristic of a region, group, or cultural level
: style of discourse : phraseology

Examples of locution in a Sentence

We were taught to avoid certain locutions when speaking. in the poet's somewhat affected locution, word order is often reversed and so we have “the sea serene”
Recent Examples on the Web That archly strangled locution, the ceaseless scorn: the vendor’s voice nags at the former Dean Street boy. Rachel Cusk, Harper's Magazine, 27 Sep. 2023 That mysterious locution and the lack of additional details raised the possibility that something more than the sniffles might be ailing the Boss. Stuart Munro, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Aug. 2023 In diplomatic memorandums, officials avoided the term military base; the preferred locution was joint communications facility. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, 15 June 2022 With its mess of divergent voices, picture-poems, and eccentric locutions, the result is baffling, beautiful, and always fascinatingly Notley. David Wallace, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2020 President Lyndon Baines Johnson was a retro Texan by birth and locution. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, 2 Oct. 2019 Consider common appeals to allyship and altruism; such locutions convey a sort of optional quality, a moralistic tone, and unreliable trendiness. Astra Taylor, The New Republic, 26 Aug. 2019 On this night, Dylan made every word count, and sang with a blues master’s locution. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, 31 Oct. 2019 American English is meant to grow wild and woolly on our shores, spawning dialects and pidgins, wantonly consuming foreign words and locutions, anarchically legitimizing slang and warped grammar. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, 28 June 2018 See More

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

Word History


Middle English locucion, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin locūtiōn-, locūtiō "act or manner of speaking, phrase, expression," from locū-, variant stem of loquī "to speak, talk" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at eloquent

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of locution was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near locution

Cite this Entry

“Locution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/locution. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


lo·​cu·​tion lō-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce locution (audio)
: a particular form of expression
complicated locutions in legal documents
: style of expression or speaking

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