malapropism [ mal- uh-prop-iz- uh m] Word Origin See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, especially by the confusion of words that are similar in sound. an instance of this, as in “Lead the way and we'll precede.” Related forms mal·a·prop·is·tic, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for malapropism the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one of similar sound, esp when creating a ridiculous effect, as in I am not under the affluence of alcohol the habit of misusing words in this manner Derived Forms malaprop or malapropian, adjective Word Origin
C18: after Mrs
Malaprop in Sheridan's play The Rivals (1775), a character who misused words, from malapropos
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for malapropism n.
1826, from Mrs. Malaprop, character in Sheridan's play "The Rivals" (1775), noted for her ridiculous misuse of large words (e.g. "contagious countries" for "contiguous countries"), her name coined from
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
malapropism [( mal-uh-prop-iz-uhm)]
A humorous confusion of words that sound vaguely similar, as in “We have just ended our physical year” instead of “We have just ended our fiscal year.”
in an eighteenth-century British
, by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, constantly confuses words. Malapropisms are named after her.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.