1. Malapropos definition: at an awkward or improper time or place; inopportune; inappropriateOrigin of Malaproposfrench mal à propos: see mal- and apropos in an inopportune or inappropriate manner 14
Malapropos, Malaproposfrench, Mal, Manner
Definition of malapropos : in an inappropriate or inopportune way Other Words from malapropos
The word malapropism is derived from the French word “malapropos,” meaning "being improper or inappropriate.". However, malapropism did not enter common parlance as a grammatical term until the publication of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1775 play The Rivals.
In an inappropriate or inopportune manner. [French mal à propos : mal, badly + à propos, to the purpose; see apropos .] American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Malapropisms tend to maintain the part of speech of the originally intended word. According to linguist Jean Aitchison, "The finding that word selection errors preserve their part of speech suggest that the latter is an integral part of the word, and tightly attached to it.".