[ hahy-pur-buh-ton ]

noun,plural hy·per·ba·tons, hy·per·ba·ta [hahy-pur-buh-tuh]. /haɪˈpɜr bə tə/. Rhetoric.
  1. 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

Other words from hyperbaton

  • hy·per·bat·ic [hahy-per-bat-ik], /ˌhaɪ pərˈbæt ɪk/, adjective
  • hy·per·bat·i·cal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby hyperbaton

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use hyperbaton in a sentence

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

  • Now the figure hyperbaton is the means which is employed by the best writers to imitate these signs of natural emotion.

    On the Sublime | Longinus
  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for hyperbaton


/ (haɪˈpɜːbəˌtɒn) /

  1. rhetoric a figure of speech in which the normal order of words is reversed, as in cheese I love

Origin of hyperbaton

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