Definitions for: Idiom

[n] the style of a particular artist or school or movement; "an imaginative orchestral idiom"
[n] a manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language
[n] an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up
[n] the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people; "the immigrants spoke an odd dialect of English"; "he has a strong German accent"

Webster (1913) Definition: Id"i*om, n. [F. idiome, L. idioma, fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? to
make a person's own, to make proper or peculiar; prob. akin
to the reflexive pronoun ?, ?, ?, and to ?, ?, one's own, L.
suus, and to E. so.]
1. The syntactical or structural form peculiar to any
language; the genius or cast of a language.

Idiom may be employed loosely and figuratively as a
synonym of language or dialect, but in its proper
sense it signifies the totality of the general rules
of construction which characterize the syntax of a
particular language and distinguish it from other
tongues. --G. P. Marsh.

By idiom is meant the use of words which is peculiar
to a particular language. --J. H.

He followed their language [the Latin], but did not
comply with the idiom of ours. --Dryden.

2. An expression conforming or appropriate to the peculiar
structural form of a language; in extend use, an
expression sanctioned by usage, having a sense peculiar to
itself and not agreeing with the logical sense of its
structural form; also, the phrase forms peculiar to a
particular author.

Some that with care true eloquence shall teach, And
to just idioms fix our doubtful speech. --Prior.

Sometimes we identify the words with the object --
though be courtesy of idiom rather than in strict
propriety of language. --Coleridge.

Every good writer has much idiom. --Landor.

It is not by means of rules that such idioms as the
following are made current: ``I can make nothing of
it.'' ``He treats his subject home.'' Dryden. ``It
is that within us that makes for righteousness.''
M.Arnold. --Gostwick
(Eng. Gram. )

3. Dialect; a variant form of a language.

Syn: Dialect.

Usage: Idiom, Dialect. The idioms of a language belong to
its very structure; its dialects are varieties of
expression ingrafted upon it in different localities
or by different professions. Each county of England
has some peculiarities of dialect, and so have most of
the professions, while the great idioms of the
language are everywhere the same. See Language.

Synonyms: accent, artistic style, dialect, idiomatic expression, parlance, phrasal idiom, phrase, set phrase

See Also: baroque, baroqueness, classical style, classicism, expression, fashion, formulation, High Renaissance, locution, manner, mode, non-standard speech, order, patois, rococo, romanticism, saying, style, treatment, way

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