What does the word "idiomatic" mean in a phrase like this one:
The word "upsurge" is not idiomatic to describe a student's vast improvement.
Here I am confused by the meanings of the word "idiomatic"
Webster gives two definitions:
1: of, relating to, or conforming to idiom
2: peculiar to a particular group, individual, or style
The first meaning is something that I am more familiar with - it is about some "inner meaning behind the first meanings of words". Like, for example, "That's where the rubber hits the road" is not about the actual rubber and actual road, but rather about the real reason of the problem. So, if I follow the first meaning, than the meaning in the sample sentence would probably mean that the word "upsurge" doesn't have any other possible hidden meanings and, therefore, it's okay to be used in this case (in case of describing a student's improvement).
However, if I follow the second meaning, that would mean that the word "upsurge" is not good for this particular style or situation. And that would be a direct opposite of the first interpretation.
So, which one of these two interpretations is correct?
Edit: This is an 'Is A or B right?' question, where the answer is C.
RHK Webster's gives the appropriate sense:
3: [1b] conforming to the usual manner of expression in a language [ie sounding natural to and often used by proficient native speakers]