In linguistics, phraseology describes the context in which a word is used. This often includes typical usages/sequences, such as idioms, phrasal verbs, and multi-word units. Phraseological units are stable word-groups with partially or fully transferred meanings, e.g. to kick the bucket.
Phraseological unit is a lexicalized, reproducible bilexemic or polylexemic word group in common use, which has relative syntactic and semantic stability, may be idiomatized, may carry connotations, and may have an emphatic or intensifying function in a text.
Specialized phraseological expressions are common in these cases of interference. The criteria for their identification include the common features for the simple phraseological units: these units are institutionalized and stable expressions formed by various words, whose elements have some syntactic or semantic peculiarity. In the case of specialised phraseological units, at least one terminological unit is added, as well as its usage in a specific scope and a relevant frequency in specific texts.
Phraseology is a scholarly approach to language which developed in the twentieth century. It took its start when Charles Bally's notion of locutions phraseologiques entered Russian lexicology and lexicography in the 1930s and 1940s and was subsequently developed in the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries.
Bibliographies of recent studies on English and general phraseology are included in Welte (1990) and specially collected in Cowie/Howarth (1996) whose bibliography is reproduced and continued on the internet and provides a rich source of the most recent publications in the field.
In Great Britain as well as other Western European countries, phraseology has steadily been developed over the last twenty years.