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Word of the Day
Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Definitions for catachresis

  1. Misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect.

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Citations for catachresis
This monstrous metaphor should more aptly be called a catachresis, an extravagant, unexpected figure, and we might be tempted to dismiss it as abusive misstatement. But neither the catachresis nor the monster can simply be dismissed… Richard L. Regosin, Montaigne's Unruly Brood
Analepsis, catachresis, no: the word she was after was “floundering." She could already write the review of her unwritten book: “lwlarina Thwaite flounders about in her subject. with little direction and still less progress.“ Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children
Origin of catachresis
1580-1590
Catachresis is derived from the Greek root chrêsis which meant "to use." The prefix cata- means "down, back, against." The word katachrêsthai meant "to misuse" in Greek.