- a characteristic, habit, mannerism, or the like, that is peculiar to an individual.
- the physical constitution peculiar to an individual.
- a peculiarity of the physical or the mental constitution, especially susceptibility toward drugs, food, etc.Compare allergy(def 1).
Origin of idiosyncrasy
SynonymsSee more synonyms for idiosyncrasy on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for idiosyncrasies
Seeping through these explanations are the idiosyncrasies and livelihoods of their authors.The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson (And Tolstoy and Dickens)
October 26, 2014
He just sort of takes in the entire repertoire of a person: their voice, gestures, movements, idiosyncrasies, habits.The Stacks: Robin Williams, More Than A Shtick Figure
August 16, 2014
She understood the idiosyncrasies of Soviet life, having spent several years in Russia as a young reporter.Read This Book to Understand Lee Harvey Oswald
August 2, 2013
They cut wires in certain ways, there are idiosyncrasies in how these bombs are designed.Al Qaeda’s Recipe for Pressure-Cooker Bombs
April 16, 2013
Despite these idiosyncrasies, Romney and Paul felt they could not ignore the state this time around.Mitt Romney Edges Out Ron Paul in Maine Caucuses
February 12, 2012
His knowledge of Giorgio's idiosyncrasies had not played him false.Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard
The correlations between his idiosyncrasies and his precepts are undeniable.Erasmus and the Age of Reformation
But alas, it was only their idiosyncrasies which used to make any impression upon us.A Labrador Doctor
Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
Their great scholars see their idiosyncrasies, and I can not begin to describe them.As A Chinaman Saw Us
And being human, the law has its idiosyncrasies, just as a man has his.The Status Civilization
- a tendency, type of behaviour, mannerism, etc, of a specific person; quirk
- the composite physical or psychological make-up of a specific person
- an abnormal reaction of an individual to specific foods, drugs, or other agents
Word Origin and History for idiosyncrasies
c.1600, from French idiosyncrasie, from Greek idiosynkrasia "a peculiar temperament," from idios "one's own" (see idiom) + synkrasis "temperament, mixture of personal characteristics," from syn "together" (see syn-) + krasis "mixture" (see rare (adj.2)). Originally in English a medical term meaning "physical constitution of an individual." Mental sense first attested 1660s.
- A structural or behavioral trait peculiar to an individual or a group.
- A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
- An unusual individual reaction to food or a drug.