Meaning of collocation in English:


Pronunciation /kɒləˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/

See synonyms for collocation on

Translate collocation into Spanish


mass noun
  • 1Linguistics
    The habitual juxtaposition of a particular word with another word or words with a frequency greater than chance.

    ‘the words have a similar range of collocation’
    • ‘If the substituted words have relevant meanings, so much the better; and if the original collocation is archaic or otherwise non-compositional, that improves the chances still further.’
    • ‘This example shows how the meanings of words are constructed and maintained by patterns of collocation.’
    • ‘Johnson gave little attention to collocation, idiom, and grammatical information, although he provided a brief grammar at the front.’
    • ‘3 Wright is careful with his words, and so we can conclude that the repeated collocation of the phrases ‘moral bootstraps’ and ‘Pelagianism’ is no accident.’
    • ‘The fact that profits is used in collocation with the expression ‘could reasonably be taken to be attributable’ has considerable significance.’
    comparison, contrast
    1. 1.1count noun A pair or group of words that are habitually juxtaposed.
      ‘‘strong tea’ and ‘heavy drinker’ are typical English collocations’
      • ‘The collocations go to church/school/college and be at church/school/college are shared, but go to university/be at university and go to hospital/be in hospital are BrE, AmE requiring the as in go to the university.’
      • ‘For example, he invites us to ‘consider the number of collocations like ‘by and large’ that we use with no discernible compositional rationale.’’
      • ‘He has smoothed out a whole range of peculiar collocations and syntactical anomalies in order to make the translation flow.’
      • ‘‘Isotropic rigmarole’ is a cute collocation, with a texture like chrome and bone.’
      • ‘Other errors stem from the software's reliance on collocational data - for instance, the transcription follows sordid with tale, which appears to be nothing more than a hunch based on the frequency of the collocation sordid tale.’
  • 2The action of placing things side by side or in position.

    ‘the collocation of the two pieces’
    • ‘Despite the legal prohibition, Army plans already have included such collocation of women-men units in blueprints for a lighter force of 10 active divisions, according to Defense Department sources.’
    • ‘What is the highest compliment payable to a stout, 800-page collocation of investigative articles, cultural and literary essays, think pieces, and random philosophical noodling?’
    • ‘He defines style as involving the latter two of his three processes of expression-the collocation of words into sentences and the construction of rhetorical figures.’
    • ‘Our particular physical construction, this unique collocation of chemicals, provides the intelligible language of being that makes possible the shared meaning and moral awareness of human community.’
    • ‘Now I think we put them up, we gave it a definition - that's an international definition developed by growing collocation of churches, community groups and unions calling for a fair trading environment.’
    • ‘Then finally one has to consider whether the step is properly described as a new combination of integers or merely as a collocation of old ones.’
    • ‘This collocation of precocious poetic essence, stupefying lyricism and seditious brilliance sets up Rimbaud as the Romantic-Modern poet par excellence.’
    • ‘Carol Hamilton will follow up with the NCER organizers to gather more specific data about costs, registration fees, and space needs before a final decision about collocation and support can be made.’
    • ‘The significant potential deficiencies in terms of both CIS and support manpower were a major driver toward the intended collocation of the JFACHQ with the JTFHQ.’
    • ‘He said DP-AF would also better recognise some of the cross-issues, such as collocation of serving members, because the personnel managers would work alongside one another.’
    • ‘Significant to the JIOC is the initial collocation of collectors and analysts, as well as the direct response of analysts to COCOM requirements in theater.’
    • ‘The Army Test and Evaluation Command will assess the potential for consolidation and collocation of its headquarters and report recommendations in the spring.’
    • ‘Workspace and billeting collocation can set the conditions for relationship development.’
    • ‘In order to make code really, really robust, when you code-review it, you need to have coding conventions that allow collocation.’
    • ‘This performance reduces interference from other microwave transmitters when collocation is required, according to company officials.’
    • ‘Mr. Platts-Mills Q.C. for the Defendants contended that the claimed integers the subject of claim 1 of the patent in suit are a mere collocation of integers each integer being part of a cell designer's common general knowledge.’
    • ‘The collocation of this process with the formative and summative assessment technology of the HSC examination further complicates the situation.’
    • ‘The collocation of these functionally related units with their organic equipment enabled a dramatic improvement in weekend training.’
    • ‘The collocation of the JSRC in the CAOC did not occur by happenstance.’
    • ‘That collocation of ingredients necessarily is attended with harm to the competitive process.’


Late Middle English from Latin collocatio(n-), from collocare ‘place together’ (see collocate).