[loh-kyoo-shuh n]


a particular form of expression; a word, phrase, expression, or idiom, especially as used by a particular person, group, etc.
a style of speech or verbal expression; phraseology.

Origin of locution

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin locūtiōn- (stem of locūtiō) speech, style of speech, equivalent to locūt(us) (past participle of loquī to speak) + -iōn- -ion

Synonyms for locution

1. See phrase.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for locution

Contemporary Examples of locution

  • He is hardly alone in using a locution that should nevertheless be retired, a charitable critic might have explained.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Limbaugh's Latest Shameful Outburst

    Conor Friedersdorf

    February 5, 2010

  • These words revived her moribund career, underscoring the truth that politics is mostly about locution, locution, locution.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Health Care: A Critic's Index

    Tunku Varadarajan

    December 25, 2009

Historical Examples of locution

  • He believes that the locution was "possibly imported from the southwest of Ireland."

    The American Language

    Henry L. Mencken

  • Their values are variable, rising and falling according to the individual and the locution.


    Edward Sapir

  • We are likely to avoid the locution altogether and to say “Who was it you saw?”


    Edward Sapir

  • But in that he was—to use the usual Flat Creek locution—in that he was "a hoss."

  • But in that he was—to use the usual Flat Creek locution—in that he was "a boss."

    The Hoosier Schoolmaster

    Edward Eggleston

British Dictionary definitions for locution



a word, phrase, or expression
manner or style of speech or expression
Derived Formslocutionary, adjective

Word Origin for locution

C15: from Latin locūtiō an utterance, from loquī to speak
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 locution

"style of speech," early 15c., from Latin locutionem (nominative locutio) "a speaking, speech, discourse; way of speaking," noun of action from past participle stem of loqui "to speak," from PIE root *tolk(w)- (cf. Old Irish ad-tluch- "to thank," to-tluch- "to ask;" Old Church Slavonic tloko "interpretation, explanation"). Related: Locutionary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper