Definition of idiosyncrasy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌɪdɪə(ʊ)ˈsɪŋkrəsi/

noun (plural idiosyncrasies)

1A mode of behaviour or way of thought peculiar to an individual: one of his little idiosyncrasies was always preferring to be in the car first
More example sentences
  • And, of course, every person who engages in these behaviors has their own unique idiosyncrasies of personality and behavior and history that contribute to why they did it.
  • Because, despite all of the wallowing and hating I do, despite all my idiosyncrasies and neurotic behavior, my husband loves me.
  • Any event like a wedding always has the little idiosyncrasies associated with family.
1.1A distinctive or peculiar feature or characteristic of a place or thing: the idiosyncrasies of the prison system
More example sentences
  • An hour of his pieces for wind instruments is extremely rewarding, for he handles their characteristic timbres, idiosyncrasies and eccentricities most attractively.
  • Each platform has its unique features and idiosyncrasies.
  • It is a deft sketch of significant features, images, and idiosyncrasies of time and place, but, like the characters that people it, is never a fully-fledged portrait.
peculiarity, individual/personal trait, oddity, eccentricity, mannerism, quirk, whim, whimsy, fancy, fad, vagary, notion, conceit, caprice, kink, twist, freak, fetish, passion, bent, foible, crotchet, habit, characteristic, speciality, quality, feature;
unconventionality, unorthodoxy
archaic megrim
rare singularity
2 Medicine An abnormal physical reaction by an individual to a food or drug.
Example sentences
  • It was now also an allergic idiosyncrasy in which people became sensitized to inhaled, ingested, or absorbed ‘asthmogenic’ agents.
  • They suggested that allergy and food idiosyncrasy may coexist.
  • The title is ‘The diagnosis of aspirin idiosyncrasy by analgesic challenge’.


Early 17th century (originally in the sense 'physical constitution peculiar to an individual'): from Greek idiosunkrasia, from idios 'own, private' + sun 'with' + krasis 'mixture'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: idio|syn¦crasy

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