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See also: col·loquial



1751, from earlier term colloquy (a conversation), from Latin colloquium (conference, conversation), from con- (together) + loquor (to speak), + -al.



colloquial (comparative more colloquial, superlative most colloquial)

  1. (linguistics) Denoting a manner of speaking or writing that is characteristic of familiar conversation, of common parlance; informal.
    You're using too many colloquial words in this cover letter: I suggest changing "I picked up loads of cool skills" to "I acquired a great deal of positive abilities"
    The colloquial and at times sarcastic tone of her books make her popular with teenagers.
  2. Of or pertaining to a conversation; conversational or chatty.

Usage notes[edit]

It is a common misconception that colloquial somehow denotes "local" or a word being "regional". This is not the case; the word root for colloquial is related to locution, not location. A more appropriate word for describing "local" or "regional" language is vernacular.

Note that while colloquy and colloquium refer to formal conversation, colloquial refers instead specifically to informal conversation.


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colloquial (plural colloquials)

  1. A colloquial word or phrase, colloquialism

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