Examples Help! What is the definition of Malapropism?

How do you define Malapropism? What is a Malapropism? Although the term was coined from Mrs. Malaprop, a character in the play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) called the Rivals it was a comic device used by many earlier writers. The word derives from the French mal à propos ‘inappropriate’. Plural: Malapropisms. The definition of Malapropism is as follows:


English Grammar & Terminology Definition of Malapropism
Definition: The unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar

Example: Adieu: be vigitant, I beseech you. (meaning vigilant)

Definition of Malapropism

Examples of Malapropism in Literature, Poems & Poetry

Poems with Malapropism examples can be found by the most famous poets including Sheridan and Shakespeare:

  • The Rivals by by Richard Brinsley Sheridan: Mrs Malaprop cries `O mercy! I'm quite analyzed, for my part!' when she really intends to say that she is `amazed'.
  • Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare: "Adieu: be vigitant, I beseech you." meaning vigilant
  • William Shakespeare used Malapropisms on many occasions during Much Ado about Nothing - these devices were originally referred to as 'Dogberries':
    • First, who think you the most desertless man to be constable? meaning deserving
    • True, and they are to meddle with none but the prince's subjects. meaning mingle
    • Comparisons are odorous. meaning odious
    • Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two auspicious persons." meaning apprehended and suspicious
    • Is our whole dissembly appeared? meaning assembly
    • O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this meaning perdition

Examples Help! Use of Malapropism in Literature & Poetry

Examples of Malapropism can be found in many examples of literature poems or poetry. Famous poets use this figure of speech to convey and emphasize unusual and vivid images. The use of strong word association changes the mode of thought and adds variation, embellishment and adornment to literary works.


Examples Help - Figures of Speech - Malapropism

In Figurative Language we use words in such a way that they differ somewhat from ordinary every-day speech and convey meanings in a more vivid and impressive manner. Figures, like Malapropism make speech more effective, they beautify and emphasize it in Rhetoric which is the art of speaking and writing effectively. Figures of speech such as Malapropism use word association to convey emotion and mood often in a non-literal sense.

Examples Help! Using Malapropism

Figures of speech such as Malapropism adds adornment, beautifies, colors, elegant variation, embellishment, embroidery, emphasis, exaggeration, exclamation, flourish, floweriness, irony, lushness and luxuriance to the English language. This page providing facts and info about Figures of Speech will help with the understanding of this subject.

  • Free educational resource - famous malapropisms
  • Examples of Malapropism
  • Word association to convey emotion and mood.
  • Definition, sample and example - poetic device
  • Figure of Speech - malapropism example
  • Definitions, info, samples and examples of different famous malapropisms
  • Malapropism - figure, image, trope
  • Word association to convey emotion and mood.
  • Definition, info, sample and example - figure, image, trope - Poetic device
  • Poem, Poems & Poetry - poetic device
  • Famous malapropisms - Examples Help!


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