[ muh-tath-uh-sis ]
/ məˈtæθ ə sɪs /

noun, plural me·tath·e·ses [muh-tath-uh-seez] /məˈtæθ əˌsiz/.

the transposition of letters, syllables, or sounds in a word, as in the pronunciation [kuhmf-ter-buh l] /ˈkʌmf tər bəl/ for comfortable or [aks] /æks/ for ask.


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Origin of metathesis

1600–10; < Late Latin: transposition of letters of a word < Greek metáthesis transposition. See meta-, thesis


met·a·thet·ic [met-uh-thet-ik] /ˌmɛt əˈθɛt ɪk/, met·a·thet·i·cal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for metathesis

British Dictionary definitions for metathesis

/ (mɪˈtæθəsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)

the transposition of two sounds or letters in a word
chem another name for double decomposition

Derived forms of metathesis

metathetic (ˌmɛtəˈθɛtɪk) or metathetical, adjective

Word Origin for metathesis

C16: from Late Latin, from Greek, from metatithenai to transpose
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

Medical definitions for metathesis

[ mĭ-tăthĭ-sĭs ]

n. pl. me•tath•e•ses (-sēz′)

Double decomposition of chemical compounds in which an element or radical of one compound exchanges places with another element or radical in another compound.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.