Definitions

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

  • n. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
  • n. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
  • n. An unusual individual reaction to food or a drug.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A behavior or way of thinking that is characteristic of a person.
  • n. A language or behaviour that is particular to an individual or group.
  • n. A peculiar individual reaction to a generally innocuous substance or factor.
  • n. A peculiarity that serves to distinguish or identify.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A peculiarity of physical or mental constitution or temperament; a characteristic belonging to, and distinguishing, an individual; characteristic susceptibility; idiocrasy; eccentricity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A peculiarity of mental or physical constitution or temperament; characteristic susceptibility or antipathy inherent in an individual; special mental disposition or tendency.

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

  • n. a behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual

Etymologies

Greek idiosunkrāsiā : idio-, idio- + sunkrāsis, mixture, temperament (sun-, syn- + krāsis, a mixing).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1604, in modern sense since 1665, from Old French idiosyncrasie, from Ancient Greek ἰδιοσυγκρασία (idiosunkrasia, "one’s own temperament"), from ἴδιος (idios, "one’s own") + σύν (sun, "together") + κρᾶσις (krasis, "temperament"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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