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mixed metaphor

the use in the same expression of two or more metaphors that are incongruous or illogical when combined, as in “The president will put the ship of state on its feet.”.
Origin of mixed metaphor
First recorded in 1790-1800 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mixed metaphor
Historical Examples
  • To begin with, such a metaphor is always as distracting as a mixed metaphor.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • If this is a mixed metaphor, it is due to the excitement of the change.

    Tenting To-night Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • In no deliberative body in the world is the mixed metaphor so much in its element as in the British House of Commons.

  • "mixed metaphor," murmured Clarissa, and went to sleep comfortably, feeling that Carlo was a wall.

    The Devourers Annie Vivanti Chartres
  • But for my dread of a mixed metaphor I would add that they are moth-eaten and threadbare.

    Search-Light Letters Robert Grant
  • A rope of stone is imperfectly conceivable—is, in truth, mixed metaphor.

  • "One does not hear with one's heart," said I, smiling, and stirred to plague her for her mixed metaphor.

    The Little Red Foot Robert W. Chambers
  • A hand that has lost its head may affect the fastidious as a mixed metaphor; but, God pardon us all, what an unmixed truth!

    Utopia of Usurers and other Essays Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  • He swam into our ken—if a mixed metaphor may be pardoned—on a train leaving Oakland for the East.

    Roughing it De Luxe Irvin S. Cobb
  • I'll leave you to digest the mixed metaphor undisturbed while I go below and help with the patients who have begun pouring aboard.

    Le Petit Nord

    Anne Elizabeth Caldwell (MacClanahan) Grenfell and Katie Spalding
British Dictionary definitions for mixed metaphor

mixed metaphor

a combination of incongruous metaphors, as when the Nazi jackboots sing their swan song
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
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