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[hahy-pur-buh-ton] /haɪˈpɜr bəˌtɒn/
noun, plural hyperbatons, hyperbata
[hahy-pur-buh-tuh] /haɪˈpɜr bə tə/ (Show IPA).
the use, especially for emphasis, of a word order other than the expected or usual one, as in “Bird thou never wert.”.
Origin of hyperbaton
1570-80; < Latin < Greek: transposition, literally, overstepping, derivative of neuter of hyperbatós, equivalent to hyper- hyper- + ba- (stem of baínein to walk, step) + -tos verbal adjective suffix; cf. basis
Related forms
[hahy-per-bat-ik] /ˌhaɪ pərˈbæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
hyperbatically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hyperbaton
Historical Examples
  • It seems to be a mere normalization of the hyperbaton; the elimination of the elision (mittere ad) may have been a factor as well.

  • Note the separation of the epithets from the nouns, and the high level of diction produced by the hyperbaton.

  • In none of these passages is ut separated from si: the hyperbaton elevates the phrase and makes more natural its use in verse.

  • hyperbaton Transgressio, when the ryghte 31 order of wordes is troubled, & hath these kyndes.

British Dictionary definitions for hyperbaton


(rhetoric) a figure of speech in which the normal order of words is reversed, as in cheese I love
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek, literally: an overstepping, from hyper- + bainein to step
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hyperbaton

1570s, "figure of speech in which the natural order of words or phrases is inverted, especially for the sake of emphasis," from Greek hyperbaton, literally "overstepping," from hyper "over" + bainein "to step" (see come).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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