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English definition of “collocation”

collocation

noun uk   /ˌkɒl.əˈkeɪ.ʃən/ us    /ˌkɑː.lə-/ specialized
B2 [C] (also collocate) a word or phrase that is often used with another word or phrase, in a way that sounds correct to people who have spoken the language all their lives, but might not be expected from the meaning: In the phrase "a hard frost", "hard" is a collocation of "frost" and "strong" would not sound natural. B2 [C] the combination of words formed when two or more words are often used together in a way that sounds correct: The phrase "a hard frost" is a collocation. [U] the regular use of some words and phrases with others, especially in a way that is difficult to guess
(Definition of collocation from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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