[ id-ee-uh-sing-kruh-see, -sin- ]
See synonyms for: idiosyncrasyidiosyncrasiesidiosyncratic on

noun,plural id·i·o·syn·cra·sies.
  1. a characteristic, habit, mannerism, or the like, that is peculiar to an individual.

  2. the physical constitution peculiar to an individual.

  1. a peculiarity of the physical or the mental constitution, especially susceptibility toward drugs, food, etc.: Compare allergy (def. 1).

Origin of idiosyncrasy

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Greek idiosynkrāsía, equivalent to idio- idio- + syn- syn- + krâs(is) “a blending” + -ia -y3

synonym study For idiosyncrasy

1. See eccentricity.

Other words for idiosyncrasy

Other words from idiosyncrasy

  • id·i·o·syn·crat·ic [id-ee-oh-sin-krat-ik, -sing-], /ˌɪd i oʊ sɪnˈkræt ɪk, -sɪŋ-/, adjective

Words Nearby idiosyncrasy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use idiosyncrasy in a sentence

  • In hay fever certain patients present a peculiar idiosyncrasy, often inherited, almost always neuroarthritic.

    The Treatment of Hay Fever | George Frederick Laidlaw
  • What reveals perhaps more distinctly than anything else Chopin's idiosyncrasy is his friendship for Titus Woyciechowski.

  • He had a constitutional dislike for falsehoods, which was perhaps not so much a virtue as an idiosyncrasy.

    The Butterfly House | Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • They chatted volubly over this idiosyncrasy, and even laughed at it, but quite decorously so that our feelings might be spared.

  • This very singular idiosyncrasy he attributed to a fright when he was an infant in the arms of his nurse.

    A Mortal Antipathy | Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

British Dictionary definitions for idiosyncrasy


/ (ˌɪdɪəʊˈsɪŋkrəsɪ) /

nounplural -sies
  1. a tendency, type of behaviour, mannerism, etc, of a specific person; quirk

  2. the composite physical or psychological make-up of a specific person

  1. an abnormal reaction of an individual to specific foods, drugs, or other agents

Origin of idiosyncrasy

C17: from Greek idiosunkrasia, from idio- + sunkrasis mixture, temperament, from sun- syn- + kerannunai to mingle

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