Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

colloquial

[kuh-loh-kwee-uh l]
See more synonyms for colloquial on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal.
  2. involving or using conversation.
Show More

Origin of colloquial

First recorded in 1745–55; colloquy + -al1
Related formscol·lo·qui·al·ly, adverbcol·lo·qui·al·ness, col·lo·qui·al·i·ty, nounqua·si-col·lo·qui·al, adjectivequa·si-col·lo·qui·al·ly, adverbsem·i·col·lo·qui·al, adjectivesem·i·col·lo·qui·al·ly, adverbun·col·lo·qui·al, adjectiveun·col·lo·qui·al·ly, adverb

Synonym study

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.

Antonyms

1. formal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for colloquiality

Historical Examples

  • He was his own Boswell with all of that immortal's colloquiality and ingenuousness.

    Idling in Italy

    Joseph Collins

  • The fault of Mr Townsend's style is, diffuseness, a tendency to colloquiality, and a deficiency of vigour.


British Dictionary definitions for colloquiality

colloquial

adjective
  1. of or relating to conversation
  2. denoting or characterized by informal or conversational idiom or vocabularyCompare informal
Show More
Derived Formscolloquially, adverbcolloquialness, 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

Word Origin and History for colloquiality

colloquial

adj.

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

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper