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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.
(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
cat•a•chre•sis(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.
Incorrect use of words.
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|Noun||1.||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)