Definition of parabasis in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /pəˈrabəsɪs/

Entry from British & World English dictionary

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.