mal·a·prop (măl’ə-prŏp′)
n. A malapropism.
[After Mrs. Malaprop, a character in The Rivals, a play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, from MALAPROPOS(Cf. ↑malapropos).]
Word History: "She's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile" and "He is the very pineapple of politeness" are two of the absurd pronouncements from Mrs. Malaprop that made her name synonymous with ludicrous misuse of language. A character in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's play The Rivals (1775), Mrs. Malaprop habitually uses words that are malapropos—that is, inappropriate, as in allegory for alligator and pineapple for pinnacle. She makes some of her most outrageous blunders while boasting of her eloquence: "If I reprehend any thing in this world, it is the use of my oracular tongue, and a nice derangement of epitaphs!" For such memorable abuses of the language, Mrs. Malaprop has been enshrined in the words malaprop and malapropism.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • malaprop — (n.) 1823, from name of theatrical character Mrs. Malaprop (see MALAPROPISM (Cf. malapropism)). Related: Malapropian …   Etymology dictionary

  • malaprop — [mal′ə präp΄ē ənmal′ə präp΄] adj. [< MALAPROP Mrs.] using or characterized by malapropisms: also malapropian [mal′ə präp΄ē ən] n. MALAPROPISM (sense 2) …   English World dictionary

  • Malaprop — [mal′ə präp΄] Mrs.[< MALAPROPOS] a character in Sheridan s play The Rivals, who makes ludicrous blunders in her use of words …   English World dictionary

  • malaprop — I. noun Etymology: Mrs. Malaprop Date: 1823 an example of malapropism < was famed for malaprops: he always said “polo bears” and “Remember Pearl Island” and “neon stockings” Time > II. adjective or malapropian Date: 1840 using or marked by the… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • malaprop — /mal euh prop /, n. malapropism (def. 2). [1815 25; see MALAPROP] * * * …   Universalium

  • Malaprop — /mal euh prop /, n. Mrs. a character in Sheridan s The Rivals (1775), noted for her misapplication of words. * * * …   Universalium

  • malaprop — 1. adjective Characterized by the use of malapropisms. 2. noun A malapropism …   Wiktionary

  • Malaprop — Mal|a|prop, Mrs a character in the 18th century play The Rivals by Richard Sheridan. She wrongly uses words in a funny way, saying a word that sounds similar to the one she intended to use, but means something completely different. This type of… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • malaprop — mal·a·prop …   English syllables

  • Malaprop — /ˈmæləprɒp/ (say maluhprop) noun Mrs, the old weather beaten she dragon of Sheridan s The Rivals (1775), noted for her misapplication of words. {from malapropos} …   Australian English dictionary

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