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hysteron proteron

[his-tuh-ron prot-uh-ron]
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noun Rhetoric.
  1. a figure of speech in which the logical order of two elements in discourse is reversed, as in “bred and born” for “born and bred.”

Origin of hysteron proteron

1555–65; < Late Latin < Greek hýsteron (neuter of hýsteros) latter + próteron (neuter of próteros) former
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for hysteron proteron

hysteron proteron

noun
  1. logic a fallacious argument in which the proposition to be proved is assumed as a premise
  2. rhetoric a figure of speech in which the normal order of two sentences, clauses, etc, is reversed, as in bred and born (for born and bred)

Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin, from Greek husteron proteron the latter (placed as) former
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

Word Origin and History for hysteron proteron

1560s, from Late Latin, from Greek, literally "the latter (put as) the former." A figure of speech in which what should come last is put first, from hysteron, neuter of hysteros "latter, second, after" (from PIE *ud-tero-, from root *ud- "up, out;" see out) + proteron, neuter of proteros "before, former," from PIE *pro-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper