Definition of misnomer
- Nowadays it is a misnomer to call a farmer a peasant.
- The name "Greenland" is a misnomer, since much of the island is covered by a massive ice sheet.
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“International Airport” is something of a misnomer, since almost all the arriving and departing flights are local.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'misnomer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What's in a name? Well, in some cases, a name will contain an error, a misunderstanding, or a mislabeling. Historians have long noted that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire. The Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought on Breed's Hill. And the Pennsylvania Dutch are actually of German ancestry. For such cases we have the term "misnomer," which comes from the Anglo-French verb mesnomer ("to misname") and ultimately from "nomen," the Latin word for "name."
: a name that is wrong or not proper or appropriate
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