chiasmus

play
noun chi·as·mus \kī-ˈaz-məs, kē-\

Definition of chiasmus

  1. :  an inverted relationship between the syntactic elements of parallel phrases (as in Goldsmith's to stop too fearful, and too faint to go)

Origin and Etymology of chiasmus

New Latin, from Greek chiasmos, from chiazein to mark with a chi


First Known Use: 1871

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up chiasmus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to decrease in size, extent, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!