An idiom is a form of expression that is particular to a certain person or group of people. If your friend always says, "squirrelly nuteriffic!" when she means something is great, she's using her own idiom.

Idiom comes from the Greek idios, which means personal. Idiom originally meant "speech peculiar or proper to a people or country." These days we use idiom for a specialized vocabulary or an expression that isn't obvious, like kick the bucket which means "die." If you're studying a foreign language, idioms are the hardest phrases to translate.

Primary Meanings of idiom

an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up
the style of a particular artist or school or movement
Full Definitions of idiom

n an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up

idiomatic expression, phrasal idiom, phrase, set phrase
ruralism, rusticism
a rural idiom or expression
Type of:
expression, locution, saying
a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations

n a manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language

Type of:
expression, formulation
the style of expressing yourself

n the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people

accent, dialect
eye dialect
the use of misspellings to identify a colloquial or uneducated speaker
a regional dialect of a language (especially French); usually considered substandard
Type of:
non-standard speech
speech that differs from the usual accepted, easily recognizable speech of native adult members of a speech community

n the style of a particular artist or school or movement

“an imaginative orchestral idiom
artistic style
show 14 types...
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baroque, baroqueness
elaborate and extensive ornamentation in decorative art and architecture that flourished in Europe in the 17th century
classical style
the artistic style of ancient Greek art with its emphasis on proportion and harmony
(architecture) one of original three styles of Greek architecture distinguished by the type of column and entablature used or a style developed from the original three by the Romans
fanciful but graceful asymmetric ornamentation in art and architecture that originated in France in the 18th century
High Renaissance
the artistic style of early 16th century painting in Florence and Rome; characterized by technical mastery and heroic composition and humanistic content
a manner of dealing with something artistically
revival of a classical style (in art or literature or architecture or music) but from a new perspective or with a new motivation
classicalism, classicism
a movement in literature and art during the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe that favored rationality and restraint and strict forms
Romantic Movement, Romanticism
a movement in literature and art during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that celebrated nature rather than civilization
Dorian order, Doric order
the oldest and simplest of the Greek orders and the only one that normally has no base
Ionian order, Ionic order
the second Greek order; the capital is decorated with spiral scrolls
Corinthian order
the last Greek order; similar to the Ionic order except the capital is decorated with carvings of acanthus leaves
Composite order
a Roman order that combines the Corinthian acanthus leaves with the spiral scrolls of the Ionic order
Tuscan order
a Roman order that resembles the Doric order but without a fluted shaft
Type of:
fashion, manner, mode, style, way
how something is done or how it happens

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