chiasmus

noun
chi·​as·​mus | \ kī-ˈaz-məs How to pronounce chiasmus (audio) , kē- \

Definition of chiasmus

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

Examples of chiasmus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Third, there are several instances of chiasmus, an A-B-B-A pattern. Sam Bray, Washington Post, 23 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chiasmus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of chiasmus

1871, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chiasmus

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

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Time Traveler for chiasmus

Time Traveler

The first known use of chiasmus was in 1871

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Dictionary Entries Near chiasmus

Chiasmodon

chiasmus

chiasto-

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Cite this Entry

“Chiasmus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chiasmus. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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