Share this entry

parabasis Line breaks: para|basis
Pronunciation: /pəˈrabəsɪs/

Definition of parabasis in English:

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'.

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈduːfʌs
a stupid person