mixed metaphor

  1. 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

Words Nearby mixed metaphor

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mixed metaphor in a sentence

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

    The Devourers | Annie Vivanti Chartres
  • "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
  • And with pleasure at the helm, goodness is a drug in the market,—if you'll excuse the mixed metaphor.

    A Modern Instance | William Dean Howells
  • She's a mighty hand at books, as it is—quite a budding blue-stocking, if that isn't a mixed metaphor.

    Esther's Charge | Evelyn Everett-Green
  • 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

  1. 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