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Definition of "idiom" []

  • A speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements, as in keep tabs on. (noun)
  • The specific grammatical, syntactic, and structural character of a given language. (noun)
  • Regional speech or dialect. (noun)
  • A specialized vocabulary used by a group of people; jargon: legal idiom. (noun)
  • A style or manner of expression peculiar to a given people: "Also important is the uneasiness I've always felt at cutting myself off from my idiom, the American habits of speech and jest and reaction, all of them entirely different from the local variety” ( S.J. Perelman). (noun)
  • A group of words whose meaning cannot be predicted from the meanings of the constituent words, as for example (It was raining) cats and dogs (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Linguistic usage that is grammatical and natural to native speakers of a language (noun)
  • The characteristic vocabulary or usage of a specific human group or subject (noun)
  • The characteristic artistic style of an individual, school, period, etc (noun)

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Use "idiom" in a sentence
  • "Keeping only the title idiom from Jolson's hit, the Chatmon composition stands a New York story on its head."
  • "In fact, the word idiom comes from the Greek root idio, meaning a unique signature."
  • "The Greek idiom translates as "into the ages of the ages.""