mixed metaphor


Definition of mixed metaphor

: a figure of speech combining inconsistent or incongruous metaphors

Examples of mixed metaphor in a Sentence

“If we want to get ahead we'll have to iron out the remaining bottlenecks” is an example of a mixed metaphor.
Recent Examples on the Web Eye strain, like neck, back, or wrist strain, is nothing to be sneezed at, to use a very mixed metaphor. Maria Shine Stewart, cleveland, "It’s okay to take a break: Sun Messages," 28 Sep. 2020 Chloe mixed metaphors while describing herself as not smart. Neha Prakash, Marie Claire, "The Best Twitter Reactions to Netflix's 'Too Hot to Handle'," 18 Apr. 2020 But some mixed metaphors are too fun to block, as the writers of Succession’s deliciously nonsensical banter know well. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Succession Kids Finally Master the Art of BS," 7 Oct. 2019 To walk up steep sand dunes in the woods is to experience one of Mother Nature’s best topographical mixed metaphors — and also to make your calves remind you of their daily contribution. New York Times, "Welcome to America’s Newest National Park. Don’t Mind the Power Plant.," 17 July 2019 Pardon the mixed metaphor, but Team Shuster is on a roll. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "U.S. men's curling doesn't skip a beat after big win vs. Canada," 20 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mixed metaphor.' 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 mixed metaphor

circa 1748, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for mixed metaphor

Time Traveler

The first known use of mixed metaphor was circa 1748

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Cite this Entry

“Mixed metaphor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mixed%20metaphor. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for mixed metaphor

mixed metaphor


English Language Learners Definition of mixed metaphor

: a metaphor that combines different images or ideas in a way that is foolish or illogical

More from Merriam-Webster on mixed metaphor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mixed metaphor

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mixed metaphor

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