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[sol-uh-siz-uh m, soh-luh-] /ˈsɒl əˌsɪz əm, ˈsoʊ lə-/
a nonstandard or ungrammatical usage, as unflammable and they was.
a breach of good manners or etiquette.
any error, impropriety, or inconsistency.
Origin of solecism
1570-80; < Latin soloecismus < Greek soloikismós, equivalent to sóloik(os) (Sólo(i) a city in Cilicia where a corrupt form of Attic Greek was spoken + -ikos -ic) + -ismos -ism
Related forms
solecist, noun
solecistic, solecistical, adjective
solecistically, adverb
Can be confused
solecism, solipsism. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for solecism


  1. the nonstandard use of a grammatical construction
  2. any mistake, incongruity, or absurdity
a violation of good manners
Derived Forms
solecist, noun
solecistic, solecistical, adjective
solecistically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin soloecismus, from Greek soloikismos, from soloikos speaking incorrectly, from Soloi an Athenian colony of Cilicia where the inhabitants spoke a corrupt form of Greek
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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Word Origin and History for solecism

"gross grammatical error;" loosely "any absurdity or incongruity," 1570s, from Middle French solécisme (16c.), from Latin soloecismus "mistake in speaking or writing," from Greek soloikismos "to speak (Greek) incorrectly," from soloikos "ungrammatical utterance," properly "a speaking like the people of Soloi," an Athenian colony in Cilicia (modern Mezitli in Turkey), whose dialect the Athenians considered barbarous. Related: Solecistic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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