American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The misapplication of a word or phrase, as the use of blatant to mean "flagrant.”
- n. The use of a strained figure of speech, such as a mixed metaphor.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In rhet.: A figure by which a word is used to designate an object, idea, or act to which it can be applied only by an exceptional or undue extension of its proper sphere of meaning: as, to stone (pelt) a person with bricks; a palatable tone; to display one's horsemanship in riding a mule; to drink from a horn of ivory. Catachresis differs from metaphor in that it does not replace one word with another properly belonging to a different act or object, but extends the use of a word in order to apply it to something for which the language supplies no separate word. A violent or inconsistent metaphor: as, to bend the knee of one's heart; to take arms against a sea of troubles. In general, a violent or forced use of a word.
- n. In philology, the employment of a word under a false form through misapprehension in regard to its origin: thus, causeway and crawfish or crayfish have their forms by catachresis.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Rhet.) A figure by which one word is wrongly put for another, or by which a word is wrested from its true signification; as, “To take arms against a sea of troubles”. Shak. “Her voice was but the shadow of a sound.” Young.
- n. strained or paradoxical use of words either in error (as `blatant' to mean `flagrant') or deliberately (as in a mixed metaphor: `blind mouths')
- From Latin catachrēsis, from Ancient Greek κατάχρησις (katakhrēsis, "misuse (of a word)"), from καταχρῆσθαι (katakhrēsthai, "to misuse"), from κατά (kata, "pervertedly") + χρῆσθαι (khrēsthai, "to use"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin catachrēsis, improper use of a word, from Greek katakhrēsis, excessive use, from katakhrēsthai, to misuse : kata-, completely; see cata- + khrēsthai, to use; see gher-2 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Poetic licence aside, catachresis is often just a mistake, as we have seen, e.g. flaunt for flout, ecliptic for eclectic.”
“Definitional inconsistencies notwithstanding, catachresis is a fascinating feature of language.”
“A species of metaphor, catachresis is a "strained," "abused," or "perverted" use of language that names what otherwise has no name (a table leg,”
“The word catachresis arrived, through the Latin word of the same spelling, from the Greek katakhrēsis, excessive use, from katakhrēsthai, to misuse or use up.”
“As telling as the term catachresis would be the word setzen.”
“You must listen to the definition of a catachresis: -- 'A catachresis is the boldest of any trope.”
“From now on I shall try to avoid to call a catachresis, what after I’ve been moving to my last dwelling six feet under might be comme il fault.”
“Grammatical catachresis seems to include lexical catachresis, which he illustrates with examples such as infer for imply, and refute for deny, contradict (without argument).”
“The OED defines catachresis as ‘(An instance of) the incorrect use of words’.”
“Some authorities describe catachresis as the deterioration of a word, but it can also be described more neutrally as semantic drift, which is an inescapable characteristic of any language.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘catachresis’.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
"Luciferous Logolepsy is a collection of over 9,000 obscure English words. Though the definition of an 'English' word might seem to be straightforward, it is not. There exist so many adopted, deriv...
confabulation, factitious disorder, Münchhausen by proxy, Münchausen syndrome, pseudologia fanta..., pseudology, fabrication, equivocation, dysmorphophobia, chicane, counterfactual, pseudograph and 13 more...
Words that (mostly) only linguists know.
met a 4,
down(ward), wrongly or badly, completely, against
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