idiom Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “idiom” in the English Dictionary

"idiom" in British English

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idiomnoun

uk   us   /ˈɪd.i.əm/
B2 [C] a ​group of words in a ​fixedorder that have a ​particularmeaning that is different from the ​meanings of each word on ​its own: To "have ​bitten off more than you can ​chew" is an idiom that ​means you have ​tried to do something which is too ​difficult for you. [C or U] formal the ​style of ​expression in writing, ​speech, or ​music that is ​typical of a ​particularperiod, ​person, or ​group: Both ​operas are very much in the ​modern idiom.

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(Definition of idiom from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"idiom" in American English

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idiomnoun [C]

 us   /ˈɪd·i·əm/
a ​group of words whose ​meaningconsidered as a ​unit is different from the meanings of each word ​consideredseparately: Mastering the use of idioms can be hard for a ​learner. “Shoot yourself in the ​foot” is an idiom that ​means to do something that ​hurts yourself. An idiom is also the ​particularstyle or ​manner of ​expression used by a ​person or ​group: [C usually sing] Anger and ​shoutingsimply aren’t a ​part of his idiom.
(Definition of idiom from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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