Definition of hysteron proteron in English:

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hysteron proteron

Pronunciation: /ˌhɪstərɒn ˈprɒtərɒn/

noun

Rhetoric
A figure of speech in which what naturally would come last is put first, for example ‘I die! I faint! I fail!.
Example sentences
  • The reverse chronological order of these actions is an example of hysteron proteron, from the Greek for ‘later/first.’
  • Shakespeare is a master in the use of hysteron proteron.

Origin

Mid 16th century: late Latin, from Greek husteron proteron 'the latter (put in place of) the former'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hys|teron pro|teron

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