Definition of parabasis in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /pəˈrabəsɪs/

noun (plural parabases /pəˈrabəsiːz/)

1(In ancient Greek comedy) a direct address to the audience, sung or chanted by the chorus on behalf of the author.
Example sentences
  • The Chorus is important, and peculiar to Old Comedy are the agon and parabasis.
  • This paper discusses the ode and antode of Aristophanes Clouds with a view to appreciating the author's self-presentation in the parabasis.
1.1A digression in a fictional work in which the author addresses the reader.


Early 19th century: from Greek, from parabainein 'go aside'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: para|basis

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.