Definition of COLLOQUIAL


Colloquial is an adjective that describes language or speech that is informal, conversational, and characteristic of everyday communication among native speakers. It encompasses words, phrases, expressions, and idioms that are commonly used in casual conversations, informal settings, or regional dialects. Colloquial language reflects the natural rhythms, nuances, and cultural influences of spoken communication, as opposed to formal or literary language.

As an Adjective: In its adjectival form, colloquial refers to language that is relaxed, spontaneous, and suited to everyday interactions between individuals or groups. It encompasses a range of linguistic features, including slang, contractions, abbreviations, and regionalisms, that may deviate from the grammatical norms or conventions of formal written language. Colloquial language is characterized by its immediacy, accessibility, and authenticity, reflecting the diverse contexts and contexts of everyday life.

Informal Communication: Colloquial language is prevalent in informal communication settings such as casual conversations, social gatherings, and personal interactions. It fosters camaraderie, rapport, and understanding among speakers by conveying familiarity, warmth, and shared cultural references. Colloquial expressions and idioms often convey nuances of meaning, humor, or emotion that may be difficult to capture in formal or academic discourse.

Regional Variations: Colloquial language exhibits regional variations and dialectal differences, reflecting the diverse linguistic landscapes and cultural identities within communities and geographic regions. Regional colloquialisms may include distinctive vocabulary, pronunciation patterns, and grammatical structures that are unique to particular areas or populations. These regional variations contribute to the richness and diversity of language, enhancing social identity and cultural heritage.

Integration with Formal Language: While colloquial language is associated with informal communication, it is often integrated with formal or standard language in everyday speech and writing. Speakers may switch between colloquial and formal registers depending on the context, audience, and communicative purpose. The blending of colloquial and formal elements allows for flexibility, pragmatism, and effectiveness in conveying meaning and engaging with others across different social and professional contexts.

Cultural Expression: Colloquial language serves as a vehicle for cultural expression, reflecting the values, attitudes, and social dynamics of communities and subcultures. It incorporates slang, jargon, and expressions that resonate with specific social groups or generations, creating a sense of belonging and identity. Colloquial language evolves over time in response to cultural shifts, technological advancements, and linguistic innovations, reflecting the dynamic nature of human communication.

In conclusion, colloquial language encompasses informal, conversational expressions and idioms that characterize everyday communication among native speakers. Whether in casual conversations, social interactions, or regional dialects, colloquial language reflects the natural rhythms, nuances, and cultural influences of spoken communication, enriching social interaction and cultural expression. Embracing the diversity and authenticity of colloquial language enhances our understanding of language variation, cultural identity, and human communication in diverse linguistic contexts.

Examples of COLLOQUIAL in a sentence

  • Colloquial language refers to informal, everyday speech or writing that is characteristic of ordinary conversation.
  • Many idioms and slang terms are considered colloquial expressions, often reflecting regional or cultural variations.
  • Colloquial phrases may differ from formal language in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and tone.
  • Authors often use colloquial dialogue to create authentic characters and realistic dialogue in their works of fiction.
  • In linguistics, colloquial speech is studied to understand how language is used in everyday social interactions.
  • Colloquial language can vary widely depending on factors such as age, social class, and regional dialect.
  • When writing formally, it’s important to avoid overly colloquial language that may be inappropriate for the context.
  • Despite its informality, colloquial language plays a vital role in communication, facilitating understanding and connection between speakers.


The term “colloquial” has its origins in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word “colloquium,” where “col-” means “together” or “with,” and “loquium” means “speaking” or “talk.” In English, “colloquial” serves as an adjective to describe language or speech that is conversational, informal, or characteristic of ordinary or familiar conversation.

  • Col-: From Latin “col-,” indicating a sense of being together or with.
  • -loquial: Derived from the Latin “loquium,” meaning speaking or talk. The suffix “-loquial” is used to form adjectives related to speech or conversation.

The term “colloquial” emphasizes language that is suitable for everyday conversation, differing from formal or literary language. Colloquial expressions may include informal words, phrases, or regional dialects commonly used in spoken communication. Its etymology highlights the connection to spoken language and informal discourse.


  • Informal
  • Conversational
  • Casual
  • Vernacular
  • Everyday
  • Slangy
  • Relaxed
  • Familiar


  • Formal
  • Polished
  • Elegant
  • Sophisticated
  • Standard
  • Proper
  • Refined
  • Academic


  • Dialect
  • Idiomatic
  • Regional speech
  • Informality
  • Common parlance
  • Street talk
  • Everyday language
  • Spoken expression

🌐 🇬🇧 COLLOQUIAL in other languages

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