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[kuh-loh-kwee-uh-liz-uh m] /kəˈloʊ kwi əˌlɪz əm/
a colloquial expression.
colloquial style or usage.
Origin of colloquialism
1800-10; colloquial + -ism
Related forms
colloquialist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for colloquialism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • French colloquialism and idiom are the stumbling-blocks of the foreigner in France, even if he is college bred.

    Rambles in Normandy Francis Miltoun
  • Professor Mathews seems to have a special dislike for this colloquialism.

    The Verbalist Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)
  • He had never found any one in his life before quite so provocative of colloquialism as Mr. Pope.

    Marriage H. G. Wells
  • There, Mr. Editor, you have a pleasing comminglement of romance and colloquialism.

    Old Fogy James Huneker
  • A definition of the terms: "colloquialism" and "idiom" Instances of their use in the Speech on Conciliation.

  • Also, red-coats of old; whence lobster-box, a colloquialism for barracks.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • A colloquialism usually denoting a shilling, valued at twelve and a half cents.

  • Also a colloquialism for marque, as a letter of mart or marque.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • These elements had, however, to use a colloquialism, an "exceedingly rough time."

    What Germany Thinks Thomas F. A. Smith
British Dictionary definitions for colloquialism


a word or phrase appropriate to conversation and other informal situations
the use of colloquial words and phrases
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for colloquialism

1810, "a colloquial word or phrase," from colloquial + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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