"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[kuh-loh-kwee-uh l] /kəˈloʊ kwi əl/
characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal.
involving or using conversation.
Origin of colloquial
1745-55; colloquy + -al1
Related forms
colloquially, adverb
colloquialness, colloquiality, noun
quasi-colloquial, adjective
quasi-colloquially, adverb
semicolloquial, adjective
semicolloquially, adverb
uncolloquial, adjective
uncolloquially, adverb
1, 2. Colloquial, conversational, informal refer to types of speech or to usages not on a formal level. Colloquial is often mistakenly used with a connotation of disapproval, as if it meant “vulgar” or “bad” or “incorrect” usage, whereas it is merely a familiar style used in speaking and writing. Conversational refers to a style used in the oral exchange of ideas, opinions, etc.: an easy conversational style. Informal means without formality, without strict attention to set forms, unceremonious: an informal manner of speaking; it describes the ordinary, everyday language of cultivated speakers.
1. formal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for colloquially
  • Many have been wondering whether something known colloquially as snail mail can compete.
  • If he indeed speaks colloquially, then there's not much wrong with that quote.
  • colloquially, individuals with this malformation are sometimes called frog-babies.
  • The work of the sandhogs-as workers who dig tunnels are still colloquially known-was dangerous, claustrophobic and tedious.
  • The word also is used, colloquially, to refer to gasoline.
British Dictionary definitions for colloquially


of or relating to conversation
denoting or characterized by informal or conversational idiom or vocabulary Compare informal
Derived Forms
colloquially, adverb
colloquialness, noun
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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Contemporary definitions for colloquially

pertaining to words or expressions more suitable for speech than writing; in informal, conversational style


colloquial language or speech

Word Origin

Latin colloquium 'speaking together''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for colloquially



1751, from colloquy "a conversation" + -al (1). Related: Colloquially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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