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First attested in 1604, in modern sense since 1665, from Ancient Greek ἰδιοσυγκρασία (idiosunkrasía, one’s own temperament), from ἴδιος (ídios, one’s own) + σύν (sún, together) + κρᾶσις (krâsis, temperament). Analyzable as idio- +‎ syn- +‎ -crasy.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌɪdɪəʊˈsɪŋkɹəsi/, /ˌɪdɪəˈsɪŋkɹəsi/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˌɪdiəˈsɪŋkɹəsi/, /ˌɪdioʊˈsɪŋkɹəsi/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: idio‧syn‧crasy


idiosyncrasy (plural idiosyncrasies)

  1. A behavior or way of thinking that is characteristic of a person.
  2. A language or behaviour that is particular to an individual or group.
  3. (medicine) A peculiar individual reaction to a generally innocuous substance or factor.
  4. A peculiarity that serves to distinguish or identify.
    He mastered the idiosyncrasies of English spelling and speech.


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