Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


The idioms of his boyhood days still slipped out of his mouth.

It is, however, very difficult to acquire the idioms of the natives.

Mr. Johnson's argument was not the less stringent because his idioms were vulgar.

His studies were based mainly on the development of the various Malayan idioms.

It is Gaelic, but it is full of Spanish idioms and terminations.

Nine-tenths of the idioms are not understood by the audience—and that is always most attractive!

The idioms of one language cannot be preserved in a translation.

But he was speaking in Spanish and he was not altogether at home in the idioms of the language.

Then, as now, the Jews adopted with facility the idioms of the countries they inhabited.

In the Scandinavian idioms the plant bears the name of foxes' bells.


1580s, "form of speech peculiar to a people or place," from Middle French idiome (16c.) and directly from Late Latin idioma "a peculiarity in language," from Greek idioma "peculiarity, peculiar phraseology," from idioumai "to appropriate to oneself," from idios "personal, private," properly "particular to oneself," from PIE *swed-yo-, suffixed form of root *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (referring back to the subject of a sentence), also used in forms denoting the speaker's social group, "(we our-)selves" (cf. Sanskrit svah, Avestan hva-, Old Persian huva "one's own," khva-data "lord," literally "created from oneself;" Greek hos "he, she, it;" Latin suescere "to accustom, get accustomed," sodalis "companion;" Old Church Slavonic svoji "his, her, its," svojaku "relative, kinsman;" Gothic swes "one's own;" Old Norse sik "oneself;" German Sein; Old Irish fein "self, himself"). Meaning "phrase or expression peculiar to a language" is from 1620s.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.