hysteron proteron


hys·​ter·​on prot·​er·​on ˌhi-stə-ˌrän-ˈprä-tə-ˌrän How to pronounce hysteron proteron (audio)
: a figure of speech consisting of the reversal of a natural or rational order (as in "then came the thunder and the lightning")

Examples of hysteron proteron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In hysteron proteron the logical order or sequence of objects or events is reversed. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Apr. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hysteron proteron.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin, from Greek, literally, (the) later earlier, (the) latter first

First Known Use

1555, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hysteron proteron was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near hysteron proteron

Cite this Entry

“Hysteron proteron.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hysteron%20proteron. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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