[ sol-uh-siz-uhm, soh-luh- ]
See synonyms for: solecismsolecistic on

  1. a nonstandard or ungrammatical usage, as unflammable and they was.

  2. a breach of good manners or etiquette.

  1. any error, impropriety, or inconsistency.

Origin of solecism

First recorded in 1570–80; from Latin soloecismus “grammatical mistake,” from Greek soloikismós “incorrect use of language” (whether of individual words or in syntax), equivalent to sóloik(os), adjective formed from Sólo(i) (a city in Cilicia founded by Doric-speaking Greeks from Rhodes, whose local dialect Athenians considered corrupt) + -ik(os) + -ismos; see -ic,-ism

Other words from solecism

  • sol·e·cist, noun
  • sol·e·cis·tic, sol·e·cis·ti·cal, adjective
  • sol·e·cis·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with solecism

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

How to use solecism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for solecism


/ (ˈsɒlɪˌsɪzəm) /

    • the nonstandard use of a grammatical construction

    • any mistake, incongruity, or absurdity

  1. a violation of good manners

Origin of solecism

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

Derived forms of solecism

  • solecist, noun
  • solecistic or solecistical, adjective
  • solecistically, adverb

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