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Word of the Day
Thursday, March 08, 2007

Definitions for malapropism

  1. An act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, esp. by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.
  2. An example of such misuse.

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Citations for malapropism
At 15, Rachel, the whiny would-be beauty queen who "cares for naught but appearances," can think only of what she misses: the five-day deodorant pads she forgot to bring, flush toilets, machine-washed clothes and other things, as she says with her willful gift for malapropism, that she has taken "for granite." Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
He also had, as a former colleague puts it, "a photogenic memory"--a malapropism that captures his gift for the social side of life, his Clintonian ability to remember names of countless people he has met only briefly. Eric Pooley and S.C. Gwynne, Time
Origin of malapropism
1840-1850
A malapropism is so called after Mrs. Malaprop, a character noted for her amusing misuse of words in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy The Rivals.