Definition of solecism
1 : an ungrammatical combination of words in a sentence; also : a minor blunder in speech
2 : something deviating from the proper, normal, or accepted order
3 : a breach of etiquette or decorum
solecisticplay \ˌsä-lə-ˈsis-tik, ˌsō-\ adjective
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Examples of solecism in a sentence
the solecism of asking one's hosts how much something in their house cost them
Did You Know?
The city of Soloi had a reputation for bad grammar. Located in Cilicia, an ancient coastal nation in Asia Minor, it was populated by Athenian colonists called soloikos (literally "inhabitant of Soloi"). According to historians, the colonists of Soloi allowed their native Athenian Greek to be corrupted and they fell to using words incorrectly. As a result, soloikos gained a new meaning: "speaking incorrectly." The Greeks used that sense as the basis of soloikismos, meaning "an ungrammatical combination of words." That root in turn gave rise to the Latin soloecismus, the direct ancestor of the English word solecism. Nowadays, solecism can refer to social blunders as well as sloppy syntax.
Origin and Etymology of solecism
Latin soloecismus, from Greek soloikismos, from soloikos speaking incorrectly, literally, inhabitant of Soloi, from Soloi, city in ancient Cilicia where a substandard form of Attic was spoken
First Known Use: circa 1555
SOLECISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of solecism for English Language Learners
: a mistake in speech or writing
: an impolite or improper way of behaving
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