idiom

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.

Definitions of idiom
  1. noun
    an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up
    synonyms: idiomatic expression, phrasal idiom, phrase, set phrase
    see moresee less
    types:
    ruralism, rusticism
    a rural idiom or expression
    type of:
    expression, locution, saying
    a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
  2. noun
    a manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language
    synonyms: parlance
    see moresee less
    type of:
    expression, formulation
    the style of expressing yourself
  3. noun
    the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people
    synonyms: accent, dialect
    see moresee less
    types:
    eye dialect
    the use of misspellings to identify a colloquial or uneducated speaker
    patois
    a regional dialect of a language (especially French); usually considered substandard
    brogue
    a strong regional accent, especially an Irish or Scottish accent
    type of:
    non-standard speech
    speech that differs from the usual accepted, easily recognizable speech of native adult members of a speech community
  4. noun
    the style of a particular artist or school or movement
    “an imaginative orchestral idiom
    synonyms: artistic style
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 14 types...
    hide 14 types...
    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
    order
    (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
    rococo
    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
    treatment
    a manner of dealing with something artistically
    neoclassicism
    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, modality, mode, style, way
    how something is done or how it happens
Word Family