Definition of malapropism in English:

malapropism

(US malaprop)

noun

  • The mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with an amusing effect (e.g. ‘dance a flamingo’ instead of flamenco).

    • ‘His verbal miscues and malapropisms are the natural consequence of a man struggling with internal contradictions and a lack of self-knowledge.’
    • ‘For example, bad malapropisms are not only excused, but also quite plainly understood.’
    • ‘Finally, it's also something like a malapropism, where a word is mistakenly substituted for one of similar sound shape.’
    • ‘The effect of a malapropism is usually humorous, but it can highlight quite profound connections between things.’
    • ‘I decided against a bottle of wine as Mother had already drained her Kir with some speed and had begun to confuse her spoonerisms with her malapropisms.’
    • ‘It's not the accent so much as the malapropisms that set them apart.’
    • ‘This is simultaneously a spelling error and a malapropism.’
    • ‘Apparently Fowler considered this to be a malapropism as they sounded similar.’
    • ‘Further malapropisms were to be found last week in Ireland on Sunday.’
    • ‘And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it's good for us.’
    • ‘Each day has a statement containing spoonerisms, malapropisms, contradictions, strange and unrelated facts, and misuse of words.’
    • ‘Of these, errors in sound, usually called malapropisms, are probably the best known.’
    • ‘He was funny, witty, and his malaprops were almost as legendary as his Yankee teammate Yogi Berra's.’
    • ‘All the following are 100% genuine malapropisms, as said by R and L at various times in my hearing.’
    • ‘At a White House ceremony where he signed the $417 billion defense spending bill for the 2005 fiscal year, Bush uttered another of his celebrated malapropisms.’
    • ‘Often a media gaffe is not an isolated malapropism but a reflection of an executive's whole attitude.’
    • ‘They speak in spoonerisms and malapropisms and put forward bizarre concepts and beliefs.’
    • ‘Here is a list of student malapropisms which I have collected since I began teaching - each represents an actual student's statement!’
    • ‘The funniest malapropisms and turns of phrase tend to be unintentional bloopers.’
    • ‘But aside from the malaprops, whether his or someone else's attributed to him, Yogi's language always has been clean.’
    wrong word, solecism, error, misuse, misusage, misapplication, infelicity, slip of the tongue
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 19th century: from the name of the character Mrs Malaprop in Sheridan's play The Rivals (1775) + -ism.

Pronunciation:

malapropism

/ˈmaləprɒˌpɪz(ə)m/