Catachresis



misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect.
Historical Examples

It is a sort of quaint alteration or catachresis of Possunt quia posse videntur.
A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 George Saintsbury

It is true that might be taken by catachresis to designate a chamberlain as functionary of the Oriental Court.
The Apostles Ernest Renan

You must listen to the definition of a catachresis:—’A catachresis is the boldest of any trope.
Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10) Maria Edgeworth

The hyperbole and catachresis are so nearly related to a bull, that I shall dwell upon them with pleasure.
Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10) Maria Edgeworth

Life is attributed to plants, only by a species of metaphor or catachresis.
A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 7 (of 10) Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)

And yet, after a vast deal of such like catachresis, the orthodoxy of plagiarism remains still in dispute.
The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 Various

No expression so terse and yet so striking could dispense with the classicism and the catachresis of “stoically.”
A History of English Literature George Saintsbury

In this sense the proverb is current by a misuse, or a catachresis at least of both the words, Fortune and Fools.
The Best of the World’s Classics, Vol. V (of X) – Great Britain and Ireland III Various

In this sense the proverb is current by a misuse, or a catachresis at least, of both the words, fortune and fools.
Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit Samuel Taylor Coleridge

noun
the incorrect use of words, as luxuriant for luxurious
n.

1580s, from Latin catachresis, from Greek katakhresis “misuse” (of a word), from katakhresthai “to misuse,” from kata- “down” (here with a sense of “perversion;” see cata-) + khresthai “to use” (see hortatory). Related: Catachrestic; catachrestical; catachrestically.

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