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Related to catachresis: chiasmus, zeugma


n. pl. cat·a·chre·ses (-sēz)
1. The misapplication of a word or phrase, as the use of blatant to mean "flagrant."
2. The use of a strained figure of speech, such as a mixed metaphor.

[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- in Indo-European roots.]

cat′a·chres′tic (-krĕs′tĭk), cat′a·chres′ti·cal (-tĭ-kəl) adj.
cat′a·chres′ti·cal·ly adv.


(Linguistics) the incorrect use of words, as luxuriant for luxurious
[C16: from Latin, from Greek katakhrēsis a misusing, from katakhrēsthai, from khrēsthai to use]
catachrestic, ˌcataˈchrestical adj
ˌcataˈchrestically adv


(ˌkæt əˈkri sɪs)

misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect.
[1580–90; < Latin < Greek: a misuse =katachrê(sthai) to misuse (kata- cata- + chrêsthai to use, need) + -sis -sis)]
cat`a•chres′tic (-ˈkrɛs tɪk) cat`a•chres′ti•cal, adj.
cat`a•chres′ti•cal•ly, adv.


Incorrect use of words.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.catachresis - strained or paradoxical use of words either in error (as `blatant' to mean `flagrant') or deliberately (as in a mixed metaphor: `blind mouths')
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
References in periodicals archive ?
For modern rhetorical theory, some of these would be considered catachresis or metonymy.
Willynilly, through thousands of voyages both real and imaginary, a more expansive world was diced, repackaged, and sold piecemeal, in artful catachresis, macaronic jibes, publicity stunts, and zany antics.
In poetry, then, catachresis capitalizes on 'mistakes' to invigorate the language, as Sister Miriam Joseph (cited by Freinkel) long ago observed about Shakespeare's creativity.
The precise, compact glossary of terms alone will answer many a teacher's prayer for just such an aide-memoire, since it includes definitions of many items beyond basic notions like rhyme schemes and meter; namely, tropes and figures, such as catachresis, syllepsis and synecdoche.
I use all three terms because I have become convinced that the phrase "journal's life" is a catachresis, and I want to call attention to the difficulty of finding a term or phrase to refer to what happens to a journal over time that is not a catachresis.
48) that we view the Deutschland ode as "the rhetorical success of an extended oxymoron rather than the mimetic failure of catachresis.
The confrontation that takes place in this passage is a recurrent one, aptly described by Michal Glowiniski in a study devoted to Brzozowski's earlier literary criticism: "This oscillation between aphorism and ornamentation, between phrasing that is emphatic in its directness and metaphorical embellishment bordering at times on catachresis, is clearly marked by the stamp of history.
It is enriched with words like axolotl, catachresis, interpellations, neo-Arielism, subalternism, and prosopopeic.
IX, I, 5 lists them as metaphor, synecdoche, metonymy, antonomasia, onomatopoeia, metalepsis, allegory, periphrasis, catachresis, and hyperbole.
Where Bongie and Hogan coin new terms to convey the lingering of the colonial in post- or neo-colonial situations, Aravamudan treats the postcolonial as a performative or proleptic term: "[D]espite its referential inaccuracy," he observes, "the catachresis postcolonial signals an unachieved possibility or a critical space that could eventually make way for a lived economic, political, and cultural one" (16).
The biblical title prompted the viewer to reflect on this video's trespassing on the traditional space of sculpture, evoking--as a taboo--the catachresis between vision and touch, and between two and three dimensions, that the projection apparatus enforced.
The result is a catachresis in which the physiological term (a young man passes through Emilie's scopic field) is left out entirely.