Colloquial language is casual and conversational: it's the difference between "What are you going to do?" and "Whatchagonnado?"

  • Pronunciation: / kə'lokwɪəl/
  • English description: characteristic of informal spoken language or conversation
  • Synonyms: conversational
  • Chinese Translation: 口语的(kou3 yu3 de)
  • Spanish Translation: coloquial
  • ORIGIN: The word colloquial comes from the Latin word colloquium, which means "speaking together." The roots are the prefix com-, which means "together," and the suffix -loqu, which means "speak." Some may think that colloquial language is not good, when in fact it may just not be appropriate for the context. While it is OK to be colloquial and chatty with friends, it is not acceptable to be colloquial in an essay for school or work.


  • Because of narrowing of the throat, the struggle to draw a breath sometimes produces a high-pitched whooping noise, hence the disease’s colloquial name, whooping cough.
  • Today, women cannot legally change their surname after marriage, but both men and women can accept the other’s surname for social and colloquial purposes.

*New word description, story and part of "EXAMPLE SENTENCE" are cited in Vocabulary