- A phrase characteristic of a particular language, that cannot necessarily be fully understood from the separate meanings of the individual words which form it, but instead must be learned as a whole unit of meaning.
Etymology: Late 16th century, borrowed from idiome, from late Latin idioma, from the Greek, "property, peculiarity" < idios (see idio-).
- You can't translate "kick the bucket" word for word into French with the same meaning because it's an .
- A manner of speaking, a way of expressing oneself.
- A style (of art, architecture, music, etc.).
- An instance of such style.
- The term idiom is used by some linguists instead of language or dialect when there is no need to commit oneself to any decision on the status with respect to this distinction. Idiom is used to refer to the studied communicative system (that could be called either a dialect or a language) when its status with respect to this distinction is irrelevant (thus it is a synonym to language in the more general sense).
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Full Definition of idiom