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catachresis

Syllabification: cat·a·chre·sis
Pronunciation: /ˌkatəˈkrēsis
 
/

Definition of catachresis in English:

noun (plural catachreses /-sēz/)

The use of a word in a way that is not correct, for example, the use of mitigate for militate.
Example sentences
  • English and American studies, especially, seemed to be focusing on narrative and drama in ways that excluded from study bizarre and interesting phenomena such as obsessive rhythm and catachresis.
  • Its transformation seems more catachresis than irony, more a twisted similarity than an inversion or negation.

Origin

mid 16th century: from Latin, from Greek katakhrēsis, from katakhrēsthai 'misuse', from kata- 'down' (expressing the sense 'wrongly') + khrēsthai 'use'.

Derivatives

catachrestic

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈkrestik/
adjective
Example sentences
  • If the narrator's loss of a proper name were catachrestic - a radical misnaming - then we could posit a potential possession of his proper name by virtue of the presupposed latent proper name in the notion of ‘misnaming.’
  • But these are not, properly speaking, assistants, but are called so only in a catachrestic manner, by a kind of abuse of language, for they are found in reality to be enemies to man.

Definition of catachresis in:

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