Definition of chiasmus in English:

chiasmus

Line breaks: chi¦as|mus
Pronunciation: /kʌɪˈazməs
 
, kɪ-/

noun

  • A rhetorical or literary figure in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order.
    More 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

adjective
More 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'.

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