Definition of solecism in English:



  • 1A grammatical mistake in speech or writing.

    • ‘This, I believe, is the only grammatical solecism Esther perpetrates in her long narrative.’
    • ‘What we have is conjecture, the useful surprise of a grammatical mismatch, the thrill of syntactic breakdown, the wild happiness of a solecism typed into Microsoft Word and printed out by Packard Bell.’
    • ‘We also learn that the magnanimity hinted at in the sandlot baseball incident - when Anders is delighted rather than angered by the solecism spoken by Coyle's cousin - was alive and well in Anders as a young adult.’
    • ‘We must investigate what produces solecisms, and not merely adduce examples.’
    • ‘Many small typos and solecisms are lazily neglected.’
    • ‘This grating solecism has been adopted by many older people, who tend to say it with such emphasis that one suspects they think it's a cool expression which just might narrow the generation gap for them.’
    • ‘This year, it seems likely that a number of my fellow countrymen will be spending a good deal of time pedantically pursuing punctuation rules and grumbling at grammatical solecisms.’
    • ‘I've revised this post to clear up solecisms and misspellings, and added one link for clarity.’
    • ‘Incidentally, the hyphen in Goose-Pimples is a solecism, but we'll never know whether it was written by Leigh or improvised by his cast.’
    • ‘However this argument leads to the flourishing of solecisms and general language degradation.’
    • ‘The English subtitles, on the other hand, are utterly inept - full of awkwardness and solecisms.’
    • ‘The same people who cringe when words such as ‘imply’ and ‘infer’ are confused react without a trace of embarrassment to even the most egregious of numerical solecisms.’
    • ‘Bloggers, however careful we try to be, know about the solecism that sneaks into every post, the unexpected spelling mistake, the ambiguous statement.’
    • ‘And solecisms such as calling the Orthodox liturgy a ‘mass’ are mildly distracting.’
    • ‘Everyone in the publishing process should report a solecism that would otherwise go undetected - a misspelling, a grammatical error.’
    • ‘It is only after close study that apparent solecisms can be interpreted as the keystones of a highly conscious literary construct.’
    • ‘The fundamental silliness of my article lies, however, not in its numerous solecisms but in the dubiousness of its central thesis and of the " reasoning’ adduced to support it.’
    • ‘This is not supposed to be a list of clichés or solecisms.’
    • ‘That calculated literary solecism of mixed tenses is at the heart of the essay, enabling Michaels to convey the simultaneity of his different times, a back then and a now.’
    • ‘It is regarded as a solecism to say ‘We have less tea bags than I thought.’’
    mistake, grammatical mistake, error, blunder
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    1. 1.1 A breach of good manners; a piece of incorrect behavior.
      • ‘But he never brooked any solecism in behaviour inside his courtroom.’
      • ‘You really would think that someone from Sandy's background would know better than to commit the solecism of greeting the domestic staff before his host.’
      • ‘In any case, it was unlikely that John would commit any solecism of protocol, since he was already well acquainted with her, she having been one of his wife's bridesmaids.’
      • ‘The question is not whether Mourinho commits these solecisms: every week provides a new instance of a Mourinhism that raises the hackles of stout-hearted, stout-drinking English yeomen.’
      faux pas, gaffe, breach of etiquette, impropriety, piece of indecorum, social indiscretion, inappropriate behaviour, infelicity, slip, error, blunder, miscalculation, lapse
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Mid 16th century: from French solécisme, or via Latin from Greek soloikismos, from soloikos ‘speaking incorrectly’.