View synonyms for colloquial


[ kuh-loh-kwee-uhl ]


  1. characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal.

    Antonyms: formal

  2. involving or using conversation.


/ kəˈləʊkwɪəl /


  1. of or relating to conversation
  2. denoting or characterized by informal or conversational idiom or vocabulary Compare 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

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Derived Forms

  • colˈloquialness, noun
  • colˈloquially, adverb
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Other Words From

  • col·loqui·al·ly adverb
  • col·loqui·al·ness col·loqui·ali·ty noun
  • quasi-col·loqui·al adjective
  • quasi-col·loqui·al·ly adverb
  • semi·col·loqui·al adjective
  • semi·col·loqui·al·ly adverb
  • uncol·loqui·al adjective
  • uncol·loqui·al·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of colloquial1

First recorded in 1745–55; colloquy + -al 1
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Synonym Study

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.
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Example Sentences

What people have suffered during the pandemic is “touch hunger,” a colloquial term for what social scientists call “affection deprivation”, a state in which individuals want or need more affection than they receive.

Descent of Woman fit well into a genre of colloquial science that aimed to present scientific arguments to readers with common sense but little scientific training.

Other linguistic variations that challenge AI include different slang or colloquial expressions to convey similar meanings and other paralinguistic features like tone, intonation, pacing, pausing, and pitch.

Color has not disclosed a valuation with recent rounds, making this the first official confirmation that the company is a “unicorn,” a colloquial industry term for a private startup worth over $1 billion.

From Fortune

And, hey, the name Finimondo — “the end of the world” — seems appropriate for these times, though the importer explains that the name is a colloquial expression meaning the wine is terrific.

A hypothetical history of how words become part of the colloquial lexicon.

There are no naked bodies (at least in the colloquial sense).

The lanky, scandal-scarred former Congressman and purveyor of the now colloquial sext, has lived and died by the tweet.

In Austria, schnaps is a colloquial term that historically references distilled fruit brandy.

To use an US Army colloquial term, he is a "No Go" for the cabinet post.

"All they can rap and run for" is the more frequent colloquial version of this quaint phrase.

The brilliance of his wife, and her most fascinating colloquial powers, also reflected much luster upon his name.

He had traveled over Europe, and parts of the East, and possessed great colloquial powers when inclined to be sociable.

In the Attic poetry which was written in direct imitation of colloquial speech, viz.

A "growler" is a colloquial term applied to icebergs of small mass, which therefore only show a small portion above the surface.


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