Definition of colloquial in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈləʊkwɪəl/


(Of language) used in ordinary or familiar conversation; not formal or literary: colloquial and everyday language colloquial phrases
More example sentences
  • I had four or five Chinese dialects at my disposal, phrases in colloquial English, and of course, Malay.
  • The language is often colloquial and vigorous.
  • In some places the use of more colloquial language seems to work and not detract from the original gospels, but in other places it came across to me as contrived.
informal, conversational, everyday, casual, non-literary;
natural, unofficial, unpretentious, familiar, chatty, friendly, idiomatic, slangy;
vernacular, popular, demotic



Pronunciation: /kəˈləʊkwiəli/
Example sentences
  • Countries in permanent crisis, with the population at subsistence level, more or less chaotic, but without total civil strife, are known colloquially as ‘basket cases’.
  • To find your real e-mail, you must wade through the torrent of fraud and obscenity known politely as " unsolicited bulk e-mail " and colloquially as spam.
  • Unchecked, it leads to changes in posture, particularly in the form of a hunched back known colloquially as dowager's hump, and decreased mobility.


Mid 18th century: from Latin colloquium 'conversation' + -al.

Words that rhyme with colloquial


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: col|lo¦quial

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