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a figure of speech in which a group of words express a figurative meaning, not obvious from the individual meaning of each word. The phrase has come to have meaning over time, e.g. When she won the lottery, she was over the moon. Or the phrase makes sense in the context of the specific language of a particular geographical area, e.g. Because she spoke in the idiom of South Yorkshire, most visitors from South Africa could not understand a word she said!