A figure in which one word is wrongly placed for the next or by which a word is wrested from the real signification as ldquoTo just take arms against a sea of troublesrdquo Shak ldquoHer voice was but the shadow of a soundrdquo younger
- strained or paradoxical using terms either in error (as `blatant' to suggest `flagrant') or deliberately (like in a mixed metaphor: `blind mouths')
- A figure wherein one word is wrongly put for another, or in which a term is wrested from its real signification; since, "To take hands against a-sea of problems". Shak. "Her voice had been nevertheless the shadow of a sound." Young.
1580s, from Latin catachresis, from Greek katakhresis "misuse" (of a word), from katakhresthai "to misuse," from kata- "down" (here with a sense of "perversion;" see cata-) + khresthai "to utilize" (see hortatory). Related: Catachrestic; catachrestical; catachrestically.