- 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.
- Chemistry. double decomposition.
Origin of metathesis
- the transposition of two sounds or letters in a word
- chem another name for double decomposition
Word Origin for metathesis
1570s, "transposition of letters in a word;" c.1600, "rhetorical transposition of words," from Late Latin metathesis, from Greek metathesis "change of position, transposition, change of opinion," from stem of metatithenai "to transpose," from meta- "to change" (see meta-) + tithenai "to place, set," from PIE root *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious). Plural is metatheses. Related: Metathetic.
- Double decomposition of chemical compounds in which an element or radical of one compound exchanges places with another element or radical in another compound.