[ kuh-tab-uh-sis ]
/ kəˈtæb ə sɪs /

noun, plural ka·tab·a·ses [kuh-tab-uh-seez] /kəˈtæb əˌsiz/.

a march from the interior of a country to the coast, as that of the 10,000 Greeks after their defeat and the death of Cyrus the Younger at Cunaxa.
a retreat, especially a military retreat.
Compare anabasis.

Origin of katabasis

1830–40; < Greek katábasis a going down, descent, equivalent to kataba- (stem of katabaínein to go down) + -sis -sis. See kata-, basis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for katabasis


/ (kəˈtæbəsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)

the retreat of the Greek mercenaries of Cyrus the Younger, after his death at Cunaxa, from the Euphrates to the Black Sea in 401–400 bc under the leadership of Xenophon: recounted in his AnabasisCompare anabasis
literary a retreat

Word Origin for katabasis

C19: from Greek: a going down, from katabainein to go down
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