• synonyms


noun, plural pa·rab·a·ses [puh-rab-uh-seez] /pəˈræb əˌsiz/.
  1. (in ancient Greek drama) a choral ode addressed to the audience, especially of comedy, and independent of the action of the play: usually following the agon and, in the earliest forms of comedy, serving often to end the play.
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Origin of parabasis

1810–20; < Greek parábasis a going aside, digression; see para-1, basis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for parabasis

Historical Examples

  • They were also remarkable for the absence of the parabasis and chorus.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 6


  • Parabasis, pa-rab′a-sis, n. the chief of the choral parts in ancient Greek comedy, usually an address from the poet to the public.

  • In the comedies, like the masques in other days, sarcastic remarks on the government came to be made; this was the Parabasis.

British Dictionary definitions for parabasis


noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
  1. (in classical Greek comedy) an address from the chorus to the audience
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Word Origin

C19: from Greek, from parabanein to step forward
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