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malapropism

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
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English

Etymology

A reference to Mrs. Malaprop, a character in the play The Rivals (1775) by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Throughout the play, Mrs. Malaprop uses inappropriate, but like-sounding, words for comic effect. As dramatic characters in English comic plays of this time often had allusive names, it is likely that Sheridan fashioned the name from malapropos "inappropriate".

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
malapropism

Plural
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malapropism ({{{1}}})
  1. (uncountable) The blundering use of an absurdly inappropriate word or expression in place of a similar sounding one.
    Malapropism is much older as a phenomenon than it is as a word.
    Don't engage in malapropism, if you can help it.
  2. (countable) An instance of this.
    The translator matched every malapropism in the original with one from his own language.
    The humor comes from all the malapropisms.

Synonyms

  • (instance of blundering use of similar-sounding expression): malaprop

Translations

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See also

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