Definition of solecism in US English:



  • 1A grammatical mistake in speech or writing.

    • ‘This, I believe, is the only grammatical solecism Esther perpetrates in her long narrative.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many small typos and solecisms are lazily neglected.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I've revised this post to clear up solecisms and misspellings, and added one link for clarity.’
    • ‘And solecisms such as calling the Orthodox liturgy a ‘mass’ are mildly distracting.’
    • ‘The English subtitles, on the other hand, are utterly inept - full of awkwardness and 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.’
    • ‘Bloggers, however careful we try to be, know about the solecism that sneaks into every post, the unexpected spelling mistake, the ambiguous statement.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Everyone in the publishing process should report a solecism that would otherwise go undetected - a misspelling, a grammatical error.’
    • ‘We must investigate what produces solecisms, and not merely adduce examples.’
    • ‘However this argument leads to the flourishing of solecisms and general language degradation.’
    • ‘This is not supposed to be a list of clichés or solecisms.’
    • ‘It is regarded as a solecism to say ‘We have less tea bags than I thought.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is only after close study that apparent solecisms can be interpreted as the keystones of a highly conscious literary construct.’
    mistake, grammatical mistake, error, blunder
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    1. 1.1 A breach of good manners; a piece of incorrect behavior.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But he never brooked any solecism in behaviour inside his courtroom.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’.