Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Out of place; inappropriate.
  • adverb In an inappropriate or inopportune manner.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Inappropriate; out of place; inapt; unseasonable: as, a malapropos remark.
  • Unsuitably; unseasonably.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • Unseasonable or unseasonably; unsuitable or unsuitably.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective out of place; inappropriate

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of an inappropriate or incorrectly applied nature
  • adverb at an inconvenient time

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French mal à propos : mal, badly + à propos, to the purpose; see apropos.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French mal à propos; mal bad, badly + à propos appropriate, relevant.

Examples

  • Next day, thanks to his histrionic powers and his ingratiating address, he was promoted to the rank of "supernumerary captain's servant" -- a "post which," I give his words, "I flatter myself, was created for me alone, and furnished me with opportunities unequalled for a task in which one word malapropos would have been my destruction."

    Traffics and Discoveries

  • Washington particularly regretted what he called the “extreme malapropos” effect on Virginia, where the bad news from New Hampshire arrived in March just as delegates to the state ratifying convention were being chosen.

    Ratification

  • First of all, totally malapropos usage of the Public Enemy lyric quote.

    First Negative Dark Knight Review - And Why It's Bullsh*t « FirstShowing.net

  • Washington particularly regretted what he called the “extreme malapropos” effect on Virginia, where the bad news from New Hampshire arrived in March just as delegates to the state ratifying convention were being chosen.

    Ratification

  • Washington particularly regretted what he called the “extreme malapropos” effect on Virginia, where the bad news from New Hampshire arrived in March just as delegates to the state ratifying convention were being chosen.

    Ratification

  • I have every confidence that Israel's economy would rank far higher than 20th in your malapropos IMD "stress test" were it not for the war - now in its seventh decade.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • Treason, it seems, is still considered malapropos by some Democrats.

    Think Progress » Right Wing Swiftboating Retired Generals: ‘Dangerous,’ ‘Encouraging the Enemy to Fight On’

  • I ought not to lose an opportunity of refuting an absurd story which has been much circulated, and which is repeated exceedingly malapropos under the article of the “Abbé Gedoyn,” upon whom the writer falls foul with great satisfaction, because in his youth he had been a Jesuit; a transient weakness, of which I know he repented all his life.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • As soon as the man of genius has made a new application of any word in the language, copyists are not wanting to apply it, very malapropos, in twenty places, without giving the inventor any credit.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • FSJ's malapropos concerning geography and language is so American!

    Denton re-dentons -- again!

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