from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The speech of an individual, considered as a linguistic pattern unique among speakers of his or her language or dialect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The language variant used by a specific individual.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the language or speech of one individual at a particular period in life.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the language or speech of one individual at a particular period in life


idio- + (dia)lect.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Blend of idiom and dialect (Wiktionary)



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  • As a sociolinguist, I study the science of language in its social context. I began my lecture by describing the different ways that linguists subcategorize languages. Dialects, which most people are familiar with, are regional varieties of a language, like Texan or Midwestern English. But there are also ethnolects, associated with specific ethnic groups, like Chicano and Jewish English, and genderlects which refer to the distinctive ways that women and men talk.

    An idiolect is not the language of idiots, but an idiosyncratic form of language that is unique to an individual. No two individuals—not even family members living under the same roof—speak the exact same language. We all pronounce words slightly differently, have different inflections in our voices, and choose different words to refer to the same thing.
    Jennifer Sclafani, The Idolect of Donald Trump, Scientific American Mind blog, March 16, 2016

    October 10, 2016

  • Maybe it's how we got "W"!

    March 1, 2008

  • ideolect wordie is idiolect to the nth degree

    December 29, 2006