Definition of chiasmus in English:

Share this entry

chiasmus

Pronunciation: /kʌɪˈazməs/
Pronunciation: /kɪˈazməs/

noun

A rhetorical or literary figure in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order.
Example sentences
  • One such description occurs in the opening lines of the poem as Milton joins two rhetorical devices, chiasmus and paradox, to declare his subject.
  • Ovid's chiasmus is a rhetorical picture of the lovers being pulled apart.
  • An analysis of this speech reveals that the student used varied repetition strategies, including anaphora, antithesis, chiasmus, and parallelism.

Derivatives

chiastic

Pronunciation: /kʌɪˈastɪk/
adjective
Example sentences
  • A series of chiastic inversions mark the last three lines.
  • Rather, there is a chiastic relationship between Pascal and Goethe.
  • It would appear that verses 1-11 of Zechariah 14 are expressed as a chiastic structure with verses 6 and 7 being the turning point.

Origin

Mid 17th century (in the sense 'crosswise arrangement'): modern Latin, from Greek khiasmos, from khiazein 'mark with the letter chi', from khi 'chi'.

Words that rhyme with chiasmus

Erasmus

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: chi¦as|mus

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.