catachresis definition

  • noun:
    • The misapplication of a word or term, as the use of blatant to indicate "flagrant.”
    • the application of a strained figure of message, such a mixed metaphor.
    • A figure wherein one word is wrongly put for the next, or in which a word is wrested from its true signification; as, “To just take hands against a sea of troubles”. Shak. “the woman voice was however the shadow of an audio.” Young.
    • In rhet.: A figure through which a word can be used to designate an object, idea, or act that it could be applied only by an outstanding or excessive extension of the correct world of meaning: as, to rock (pelt) people with bricks; a palatable tone; to show an individual's horsemanship in driving a mule; to take in from a horn of ivory.
    • In philology, the work of a word under a false form through misapprehension in regards to its beginning: hence, causeway and crawfish or crayfish have actually their particular kinds by catachresis.
    • strained or paradoxical usage of terms either in error (as `blatant' to imply `flagrant') or deliberately (like in a mixed metaphor: `blind mouths')

Related Sources

  • Definition for "catachresis"
    • The misapplication of a word or term, as…
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  • Sentence for "catachresis"
    • Poetic licence aside, catachresis is often…
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  • Hypernym for "catachresis"
  • Etymologically Related for "catachresis"
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