One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The use of a word in a way that is not correct, for example, the use of mitigate for militate.
- ‘English and American studies, especially, seemed to be focusing on narrative and drama in ways that excluded from study bizarre and interesting phenomena such as obsessive rhythm and catachresis.’
- ‘Its transformation seems more catachresis than irony, more a twisted similarity than an inversion or negation.’
Mid 16th century: from Latin, from Greek katakhrēsis, from katakhrēsthai ‘misuse’, from kata- ‘down’ (expressing the sense ‘wrongly’) + khrēsthai ‘use’.
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