mis·​no·​mer | \ ˌmis-ˈnō-mər How to pronounce misnomer (audio) \

Definition of misnomer

1 : the misnaming of a person in a legal instrument
2a : a use of a wrong or inappropriate name Nowadays it is a misnomer to call a farmer a peasant.
b : a wrong name or inappropriate designation The name "Greenland" is a misnomer, since much of the island is covered by a massive ice sheet.

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Other Words from misnomer

misnomered \ ˌmis-​ˈnō-​mərd How to pronounce misnomered (audio) \ adjective

Don't Mistake the Meaning of Misnomer

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."

Examples of misnomer in a Sentence

“International Airport” is something of a misnomer, since almost all the arriving and departing flights are local.

Recent Examples on the Web

But that name is a misnomer since the planet is actually covered in gas, and whatever ice is below that is basically slushy. Wired, "Space Photos of the Week: Tune Into Neptune," 31 Aug. 2019 Sensitive onlookers be warned: The title of the trek is no misnomer. Doug Maccash, nola.com, "Eye-popping World Naked Bike Ride 2019 raises awareness, June 8," 5 June 2019 Despite whatever misnomers might exist, there is a great demand out there for mature workers,’’ said Mary Branagan, at Associates for Training and Development, a workforce training and development outfit headquartered in Vermont. Andrew Soergel, BostonGlobe.com, "Seniors are more likely to work past 65 in big metro areas like Boston, data show," 10 June 2019 The description is a pretty misnomer for a springy patty of shrimp and scallops positioned near lacy crackers whipped up from little more than flour and oil in a hot pan. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Queen’s English brings Hong Kong’s sizzle to Columbia Heights," 17 July 2019 This year, Prime Day is a bit of a misnomer, because Amazon has extended it to two days of great deals. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "What You Need To Know About Amazon Prime Day," 12 July 2019 But in the 1920s, American physicians George Minot and William Murphy figured out that patients can simply be injected with B[12rich liver extracts, rendering pernicious anemia a misnomer. Jon Wertheim And Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "The Incomparable Life and Mysterious Death of Suzanne Lenglen," 27 June 2019 The 13-year-old Grace is an uncommonly mature actor for her age, but to call her a scream queen would be a misnomer. Katie Walsh, Detroit Free Press, "Annabelle’s back and she hasn’t lost her nasty touch," 25 June 2019 Keith said the description of state money backing the school at about $9 million annually is a misnomer because the money are taxes paid to the state by citizens all over the state. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al.com, "Huntsville council head airs concerns over cyber school," 28 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of misnomer

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for misnomer

Middle English misnoumer, from Anglo-French mesnomer, from mes- mis- + nomer to name, from Latin nominare — more at nominate

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Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for misnomer

The first known use of misnomer was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of misnomer

: a name that is wrong or not proper or appropriate


mis·​no·​mer | \ ˌmis-ˈnō-mər How to pronounce misnomer (audio) \

Legal Definition of misnomer

: the misnaming of a person in a legal document or proceeding (as in a complaint or indictment) specifically : the institution of proceedings against and service of process on the correct party using the incorrect name — compare idem sonans

Note: Amendment of the pleadings is generally allowed in cases of misnomer.

History and Etymology for misnomer

Anglo-French mesnomer, from mesnomer to misname, from Middle French mes- wrongly + nommer to name, from Latin nominare, from nomin- nomen name

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with misnomer

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Spanish Central: Translation of misnomer

Nglish: Translation of misnomer for Spanish Speakers

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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