[ mal-uh-prop-iz-uh m ]
/ ˈmæl ə prɒpˌɪz əm /
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.”
IT’S A WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ BONANZA!
This windfall of words will make you rich with knowledge. Mine your memory on the words from July 27 to August 2!
Question 1 of 7
What does "scattergood" mean?
a person who acts as though he or she knows everything and who dismisses the opinions, comments, or suggestions of others.
a person who spends possessions or money extravagantly or wastefully; spendthrift.
a well-intentioned but naive and often ineffectual social or political reformer.TAKE THE QUIZ TO FIND OUT
OTHER WORDS FROM malapropismmal·a·prop·is·tic, adjective
Words nearby malapropism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for malapropism
/ (ˈmæləprɒpˌɪzəm) /
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 of malapropismmalaprop or malapropian, adjective
Word Origin for malapropism
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
Cultural definitions for 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.”
notes for malapropism
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.