Definition of misnomer in English:



  • 1A wrong or inaccurate name or designation.

    ‘morning sickness is a misnomer for many women, since the nausea can occur any time during the day’
    • ‘The name is a bit of a misnomer, as I actually would slightly bend my knees, thereby taking stress off them.’
    • ‘‘Pulse bombs’ was a misnomer, but a favourite name for the EMP charges.’
    • ‘His title Head of Strategy and Communications was a vast misnomer.’
    • ‘But, as I said, the title ‘Land Transport Management Bill’ is a total misnomer.’
    • ‘Since neurogenic genes do not exhibit proneural activity, the name ‘Tufted’ is somewhat of a misnomer.’
    • ‘I always thought that was a just a cute name… or a misnomer, like Pennsylvania Dutch.’
    • ‘Indeed, the very name seems a misnomer, suggesting that justice has been definitely achieved just by spending a few extra pennies that fair trade guarantees above the market price.’
    • ‘For years that name ‘Softbank’ has seemed a slight misnomer.’
    • ‘The disease name is actually a misnomer because North Carolina reports the most number of cases.’
    • ‘I think that Web services may be a big misnomer.’
    • ‘Schizophrenia is a misnomer but, for historical reasons, the name has remained.’
    • ‘It is our observation that their findings were not true cysts (filled with fluid); the term pseudocyst is also a misnomer.’
    • ‘The notion of ‘free education’ is really a misnomer.’
    • ‘Gideon and Annie agreed the word trivia is in many ways a misnomer for important knowledge.’
    • ‘Consider one of the misnomers for the product, ‘blacktop.’’
    • ‘In fact the title of the book is a bit of a misnomer.’
    • ‘This year Noosa also hosted its third Noosa Longweekend, a name that is something of a misnomer considering the event runs for 10 days.’
    • ‘In an attempt to dispel fears about bats, the teachers were told how the name ‘vampire bat’ is almost a misnomer for the three species of bats that do suck blood.’
    • ‘The name amicus curiae is generally acknowledged as something of a misnomer, in that very few amici intend primarily to help the court.’
    • ‘The latter designation is a misnomer, because a mild degree of ketosis often is present, and a true coma is uncommon.’
    1. 1.1A wrong or inaccurate use of a name or term.
      ‘to call this ‘neighbourhood policing’ would be a misnomer’
      • ‘Unfortunately, this infamous misnomer was only the first of a series of mistakes made by the first foreigner to set eyes on the place: Hiram Bingham.’
      • ‘In the post-modern context, however, it would be a misnomer to use family in this sense.’
      • ‘The mistake is in a way only a misnomer, but terminological infelicities have a way of breeding conceptual confusion, and so it is here.’
      • ‘The term ‘student work’ seems a misnomer here, given the clarity and maturity of her production.’
      • ‘Describing Ivan Markovic's designs as lights is a bit of a misnomer.’


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, from the Old French verb mesnommer, from mes- wrongly + nommer to name (based on Latin nomen name).