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 Yeah, that's probably a mixed metaphor, or actually a simile. Phil Plait, Discover Magazine, 21 Jan. 2011 Fair warning: What follows is a mixed metaphor palooza. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 23 Jan. 2013 The triple-mixed metaphor says it all: Licht & Co. are struggling with the intractable problem of how to square the CNN brand’s promise — straight news — with the entertainment imperatives of nighttime television. Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2022 Excuse the mixed metaphor, but the Viper feels like a great white shark on the road. WSJ, 3 Dec. 2022 Yes, a mixed metaphor, but that essentially is what has been in play to this stage. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 27 Apr. 2022 Those smoldering embers of shortcomings, now and particularly in the postseason, always hover — a mixed metaphor, admittedly — over some and consistently haunt others. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Jan. 2022 Eye strain, like neck, back, or wrist strain, is nothing to be sneezed at, to use a very mixed metaphor. Maria Shine Stewart, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2020 Chloe mixed metaphors while describing herself as not smart. Neha Prakash, Marie Claire, 18 Apr. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mixed metaphor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1748, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mixed metaphor was circa 1748

Dictionary Entries Near mixed metaphor

Cite this Entry

“Mixed metaphor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mixed%20metaphor. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

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