noun, plural ka·tab·a·ses [kuh-tab-uh-seez] /kəˈtæb əˌsiz/.
  1. 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.
  2. 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
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British Dictionary definitions for katabasis


noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
  1. 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
  2. literary a retreat

Word Origin for katabasis

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