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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Leila helps translate this for me as she, but not he, understands the colloquialism.
▪ Often current slang and colloquialisms make up the bulk of such people's language.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Colloquialism \Col*lo"qui*al*ism\, n. A colloquial expression, not employed in formal discourse or writing.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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


n. A colloquial word or phrase; a common spoken expression, often regional.


n. a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech


A colloquialism is a word, phrase, or other form used in informal language. Dictionaries often display colloquial words and phrases with the abbreviation colloq. as an identifier. Colloquial language, colloquial dialect, or informal language is a variety of language commonly employed in conversation or other communication in informal situations. The word colloquial by its etymology originally referred to speech as distinguished from writing, but colloquial register is fundamentally about the degree of informality or casualness rather than the medium, and some usage commentators thus prefer the term casualism.

Usage examples of "colloquialism".

It was a very shortsighted decision on the part of some politicians, and I suspect that this is where the colloquialism, 'Earthbound mentality' comes from.

To utilize a quaint colloquialism, what good is it to be king of the hill if there's no one around to challenge your kingship?

She found it easier to assimilate new data, such as the current political leanings and policies as well as the new styles and colloquialisms, besides the data from her schoolwork.

More vocabulary, verbs, and I dare to suggest we've got a few colloquialisms or ejaculations, though I've no referents to translate them fully.

Tall Eyebrow attempted to translate, but gave up almost at once as the spare knowledge he had of Standard colloquialisms failed him.

And you certainly managed to pick up your share of modern colloquialisms, didn't you?

I am somewhat weak wit' regard to current slang and colloquialisms, but dat is only to be expected.

Trant frowned, and Trip realized he was going to have to take it easy on the colloquialisms, or spend as much time explaining himself as conversing.

The machine’s ability in this respect was now quite passable although, mainly as a result of having conversed with many and varied individuals, it had not yet fully established a way to disentangle formal English constructions from American colloquialisms, a defect that sometimes yielded hilarious results.

Schubert said, employing one of the English colloquialisms he found so amusing.

Hammet's vocabulary had mellowed greatly since he'd come down from the cabin, and I certainly didn't want to remind him of his innate talent for four-letter words and quaint colloquialisms, most of which concerned farm animals and improbable sexual activities.

The benefit of this was to roughen up the edges of their word-perfect pronunciations and ground them in regional colloquialisms so that they didn't sound like a bunch of homogenous Euro-twats.

Hiran said, sobering and then falling silent, leaving Kirk to wonder what Romulan saying could have caused that particular Earth human colloquialism to emerge from the translator.