hysteron proteron

hys·​ter·​on prot·​er·​on | \ ˌhi-stə-ˌrän-ˈprä-tə-ˌrän How to pronounce hysteron proteron (audio) , -tə-rən-ˈprä-tə-rən, -ˈprȯ- \

Definition of hysteron proteron

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

First Known Use of hysteron proteron

1555, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hysteron proteron

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

Learn More About hysteron proteron

Time Traveler for hysteron proteron

Time Traveler

The first known use of hysteron proteron was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near hysteron proteron


hysteron proteron


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hysteron proteron

Cite this Entry

“Hysteron proteron.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hysteron%20proteron. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!