My brain has drawn a blank. What is an adjective I can use to describe someone's use of a word that is similarly spelled, but not even close in definition to the word they intended to use.


I don't take myself too seriously but I can be a bit of a contraction at times, a good or bad person.

I am almost positive they were going for something along the lines of "contradiction".


I would rather define such an act as "malapropism"(https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malapropism).

However, if we look at the adjective "malapropos", then we find (as per the Merriam-Webster) that it is not pertinent specifically to the awry placement of words but refers to the misplacement of things in general (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malapropos).

  • 3
    +1 for Malapropism. I’m not sure what your intent is in the second paragraph though. – Jim May 28 '17 at 5:37
  • @Jim Yes, the second paragraph would seem superfluous. Malapropos certainly exists as adverb, adjective and noun - but Malapropism refers specifically to an incorrect, but similar-sounding word, - after Sheridan's character, Mrs Malaprop, who tended to do that. After dinner they danced the flamingo. The Prime Minister was challenged in the House of Columns. – WS2 May 28 '17 at 7:49
  • The O.P. wanted us to provide him with a particular "adjective" which correctly expounds his statement. The first paragraph corresponds to a "noun" and in the second paragraph, I am providing its adjective( with a caution that malapropos digresses slightly and encompasses more things than words only). – user206150 May 29 '17 at 7:54

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