Friday, 15 November 2013


Catachresis is a the use of word or a figure of speech incorrectly, breaking the rules of usage.

Catachresis can be used in a number of ways, for example:

  • Using a word outside its normal context, where it appears wrong.
  • Creating a contradiction or paradox.
  • Substituting one language element for another.
  • Using mixed metaphor.
  • Using a simile that does not work.


  • Her laughing feet fell overboard with amazement.
  • He looked at the price and his pockets ran dry.
  • She grabbed the bull by the horns of the dilemma.
  • He was as happy as a corpse.

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