Definition of colloquialism in English:



  • 1A word or phrase that is not formal or literary and is used in ordinary or familiar conversation.

    ‘the colloquialisms of the streets’
    • ‘For the most part though, with its easy writing style and distinctly Kiwi colloquialisms, it's an enjoyably readable book.’
    • ‘Although they have studied English for four years, one of the biggest problems they face when they come here is just getting used to our accents and our colloquialisms.’
    • ‘The illustrations were augmented, and the entry and definition coverage expanded to include Americanisms, slang, and colloquialisms.’
    • ‘Thus, she rather enjoyed smattering her generally formal English with a pot-pourri of colloquialisms and jokes - her energy made her teaching a lot of fun.’
    • ‘He was a quiet boy with an active imagination and he became captivated by the colloquialisms of the ordinary people around in Duagh.’
    • ‘The interviews were taped, and the many brief quotations, with all the colloquialisms and speech oddities left in, are one of the most entertaining aspects of the book.’
    • ‘He peppers the storytelling with African-American colloquialisms and excursions into patois that echo his native Trinidad, the South, the street, the church and the bush.’
    • ‘She has continued to work at her English finding now that idioms and colloquialisms are the main problem.’
    • ‘She and other employees go through extensive training that drills them in English phonetics, American colloquialisms, and such pop culture topics as movies and sports.’
    • ‘However, it is wise to avoid slang and colloquialisms in written work as these undermine the writer's authority.’
    • ‘Like all Indian dialects, my mother-tongue Konkani - an amalgam of coastal languages and regional colloquialisms - has its share of adages.’
    • ‘The natural evolution of language has integrated colloquialisms, or slang words, into everyday speech, but it has also magnified complexities associated with English grammar.’
    • ‘Both works also display Jones's preoccupation with the manifold dimensions of language through their deliberate echoes of African American dialects and colloquialisms.’
    • ‘And so too many of our current irritating colloquialisms, sloppy pronunciations, errors of grammar, newfangled meanings, slangy expressions-these can end up being part of the repertoire of Standard English in the future.’
    • ‘After drugs, the most frequent references and most expressive colloquialisms in The Hippie Dictionary deal with sexual intercourse and sexual organs.’
    • ‘And then we have a third team which are just reading contemporary texts, looking for interesting slang, colloquialisms, things from different varieties of English.’
    • ‘Six years across the Atlantic in America haven't altered an accent that is still more Milton Keynes than mid-west, but his vocabulary is peppered with colloquialisms.’
    • ‘It's an insult - the day parliamentary security staff were banned from using the term ‘mate’ and similar colloquialisms in public.’
    • ‘Good conversation features colloquialisms, colour and the natural rhythm of speech.’
    • ‘Cajun French, for the most part, is a spoken, unwritten language filled with colloquialisms and slang.’
    wording, diction, phrasing, phraseology, style, vocabulary, terminology, expressions, turns of phrase, parlance, manner of speaking, manner of writing, way of talking, form of expression, mode of expression, usages, locutions, idiolect, choice of words, rhetoric, oratory
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The use of colloquialisms.
      ‘speech allows for colloquialism and slang’
      • ‘The academic protocols are observed, but her instincts are folksier, so her writing has a breathless, often brainless colloquialism.’
      • ‘Horseplay boasts a dense script, Morreison's colloquialism and Baxter's poetic but brash speech captured brilliantly, winding up in two pages of straight poetry to end the play.’
      • ‘Orhan Veli's colloquialism is radical and transcends the middle class from which he came.’
      • ‘With much success he walks a fine line between scholarly jargon and patronizing colloquialism.’
      • ‘Lemoine's stylized language dances all around Biblical convention, but throws in contemporary colloquialism wherever humour and rhythm demand.’
      • ‘The original Pamela turns readily to colloquialism: she has experienced God's graciousness ‘at a Pinch’; she does not want to be ‘a Clog upon my dear Parents’.’
      • ‘Charles Martin has conveyed something of Ovid's famous wit by giving free rein to his own, especially by translating wherever possible into contemporary colloquialism and slang.’
      • ‘It is time that divine help stepped in and coached Hollywood on the follies of shoddy impersonation, and even worse, blatant colloquialism of all verbal history.’
      • ‘Her voice is a curious union of American pacing and British colloquialism, with just enough of an accent to not seem forced, and her grammar is unexpectedly superb.’
      • ‘Whilst I had CHECKED my act for cultural references that wouldn't work, I had assumed wrongly that the crowd would be fluent English speakers and made no concessions for slang or colloquialism.’
      • ‘He challenged contemporary taste by his use of colloquialism and free verse, and became the principal among the authors writing in Chicago during and after the First World War.’
      • ‘They use prose, rhyme, slang, metaphor, colloquialism and patois.’
      • ‘There were pertinent summaries of Kiwi poetry's nationalism and colloquialism.’
      • ‘But having said all of that, I would like to speak at least a few words in defense of colloquialism.’