Definition of colloquialism in English:


Line breaks: col|lo¦qui¦al|ism
Pronunciation: /kəˈləʊkwɪəlɪz(ə)m


  • 1A word or phrase that is not formal or literary and is used in ordinary or familiar conversation: the colloquialisms of the streets
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    • The natural evolution of language has integrated colloquialisms, or slang words, into everyday speech, but it has also magnified complexities associated with English grammar.
    • Like all Indian dialects, my mother-tongue Konkani - an amalgam of coastal languages and regional colloquialisms - has its share of adages.
    • After drugs, the most frequent references and most expressive colloquialisms in The Hippie Dictionary deal with sexual intercourse and sexual organs.
  • 1.1 [mass noun] The use of colloquialisms: speech allows for colloquialism and slang
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    • 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.
    • 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.
    • But having said all of that, I would like to speak at least a few words in defense of colloquialism.

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