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Home » » Catachresis Definition & examples

It is a figure in which a word is (wrongly) used in a sense that does not belong to it. 

Among popular misuses we may mention the following : alibi for excuse, chronic for severe, mutual for common,  asset for advantage, aggravate for annoy, shambles for muddle, etc.

Examples :


Blind (i.e., so greedy as to be careless of spiritual attainments) mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold/ A sheep- hook (Milton) 


She possessed a beautiful (i.e.,sweet) voice


He wore a nice (i.e.,fine) dress on that occasion. 


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