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DYSPHEMISM [Stress: ‘DIS-fe-mizm’]. In RHETORIC, the use of a negative or disparaging expression to describe something or someone, such as calling a Rolls-Royce a jalopy. A cruel or offensive dysphemism is a cacophemism (from Greek kakós bad: ‘ka-KOFF-e-mizm’), such as using it for a person: Is it coming again tonight? See EUPHEMISM.