[ mal-ap-ruh-poh ]
See synonyms for malapropos on
  1. inappropriate; out of place; inopportune; untimely: a malapropos remark.

  1. inappropriately; inopportunely.

Origin of malapropos

First recorded in 1660–70, malapropos is from French mal à propos “badly (suited) to the purpose”

Words Nearby malapropos Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use malapropos in a sentence

  • As far as Mostyn was concerned, this first malapropos meeting indicated the whole evening.

    The Man Between | Amelia E. Barr
  • Even her wit had deserted her; she said malapropos clever things, and got snubbed for them.

    I, Thou, and the Other One | Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • She saw at once that he had forgotten their conversation in the train, and wondered what very malapropos remark he would make.

  • At any rate, he could not see her confusion at her own malapropos—that was something!

    When Ghost Meets Ghost | William Frend De Morgan
  • To him the man habitually seemed as malapropos as a spiteful old lady.

    Queed | Henry Sydnor Harrison

British Dictionary definitions for malapropos


/ (ˌmælæprəˈpəʊ) /

  1. of an inappropriate or misapplied nature or kind

  1. in an inappropriate way or manner

  1. something inopportune or inappropriate

Origin of malapropos

C17: from French mal à propos not to the purpose

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