- a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases, as in “He went to the country, to the town went she.”
Origin of chiasmus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for chiasmus
There is chiasmus here, since privata is contrasted with honoratis and quieta with claris.
For the more complicated forms of chiasmus consult Ngelsbach, Stil.
- rhetoric reversal of the order of words in the second of two parallel phraseshe came in triumph and in defeat departs
C19: from New Latin, from Greek khiasmos crisscross arrangement; see chiasma
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 chiasmus
in grammar, inversion of word order, 1871, Latinized from Greek khiasmos "a placing crosswise, diagonal arrangement" (see chi).
Adam, first of men,
To first of women, Eve.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper