Meaning of colloquial in English:


Pronunciation /kəˈləʊkwɪəl/

See synonyms for colloquial

Translate colloquial into Spanish


  • (of language) used in ordinary or familiar conversation; not formal or literary.

    ‘colloquial and everyday language’
    • ‘colloquial phrases’
    • ‘I had four or five Chinese dialects at my disposal, phrases in colloquial English, and of course, Malay.’
    • ‘The language is often colloquial and vigorous.’
    • ‘In some places the use of more colloquial language seems to work and not detract from the original gospels, but in other places it came across to me as contrived.’
    • ‘He uses refined colloquial language with a rhythm that is light and quick, an unhesitating flow that propels the poem and carries the reader.’
    • ‘In all these collections, Neruda turns to a simple style and colloquial language to talk about objects of everyday life.’
    • ‘Ira had a great ear for colloquial language, especially the language of sports.’
    • ‘If I need to respond, I do so in colloquial English using my thickest Northern accent.’
    • ‘Either it was done in a great hurry, or the translator has only a passing acquaintance with colloquial English.’
    • ‘She taught colloquial English at Tsuruga College in Japan at the age of 16 as part of an exchange program.’
    • ‘Her ear for colloquial phrases and conversational interplay is equally impressive.’
    • ‘His highly colloquial use of the language had seemed cute at first.’
    • ‘Often they alone preserved the colloquial speech, the real language of everyday use.’
    • ‘It is to this group of ancient hominids that the term ‘ape man’ is most commonly applied today, but the term is informal or colloquial.’
    • ‘Shepard has a gift for combining lyrical description with a colloquial voice.’
    • ‘Your purchase is rational in the normal, colloquial sense of the word but not necessarily in the social science meaning.’
    • ‘However, until the 1920s, few local recipe books used the colloquial name, and then sometimes only as a subtitle.’
    • ‘A boom is a colloquial term for an economy that is expanding above the GDP's average annual growth.’
    • ‘Second, the Arabic tutor will most likely be teaching you a colloquial form of Arabic rather than modern standard Arabic.’
    • ‘This is the origin of the colloquial use of ‘coconut’ to refer to one's head.’
    • ‘The production cries out for a better translation than the uncredited one that veers between stilted and colloquial.’
    informal, conversational, everyday, casual, non-literary
    View synonyms


Mid 18th century from Latin colloquium ‘conversation’ + -al.