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From Anglo-Norman mesnomer, noun use of Anglo-Norman and Old French verb mesnomer ‎(to name incorrectly), from mes- ‎(mis-) + nomer ‎(to name) (from Latin nōmināre).



misnomer ‎(plural misnomers)

  1. A use of a term that is misleading; a misname.
    Calling it a driveway is a bit of a misnomer, since you don't drive on it, you park on it.
    • 1994, Illinois. Appellate Court, ‎Stephen Davis Porter, Illinois Appellate reports (page 257)
      [] plaintiff's misstyling himself as corporation in initial complaint constituted case of misnomer.
  2. A term that is misleading.
    Chinese checkers is a misnomer since the game has nothing to do with China.
  3. A term whose sense in common usage conflicts with a technical sense.

Usage notesEdit

The term misnomer is sometimes used autologically as "something asserted not to be true; a myth or mistaken belief", as in the following example:

It's a misnomer that engineers can't write.



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See alsoEdit


misnomer ‎(third-person singular simple present misnomers, present participle misnomering, simple past and past participle misnomered)

  1. (transitive) To use a misleading term; to misname.


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