- characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal.
- involving or using conversation.
Origin of colloquial
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for colloquial
A hypothetical history of how words become part of the colloquial lexicon.How Does Slang Become Slang?
The Daily Beast Video
November 12, 2014
There are no naked bodies (at least in the colloquial sense).This Site Is Redefining Porn for Women
May 20, 2014
The lanky, scandal-scarred former Congressman and purveyor of the now colloquial sext, has lived and died by the tweet.Anthony Weiner, Disgraced Over Sexting Scandal, Still Tweeting
February 19, 2014
In Austria, schnaps is a colloquial term that historically references distilled fruit brandy.What to Drink When it’s Cold? The Glory of Austrian Schnaps
January 25, 2014
To use an US Army colloquial term, he is a "No Go" for the cabinet post.Log Cabin Republicans Respond to Andrew Sullivan
December 31, 2012
Colloquial exaggerated turn of phrase; almost "you could wipe them off the earth."Cyropaedia
He was as familiar with colloquial English as he was with his own tongue.The Fiery Totem
Perrin was nettled, for he prided himself on his colloquial style.White Lies
In this way he acquired a colloquial knowledge of that language.Wilmot and Tilley
Mrs. Quabarl, to use a colloquial expression, was knocked off her perch.
- of or relating to conversation
- denoting or characterized by informal or conversational idiom or vocabularyCompare informal
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
Word Origin and History for colloquial
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper