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Chiasmus - Definition

The definition of: Chiasmus is below.
There are 3 syllables in the word Chiasmus.
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Definition of: Chiasmus

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Poetry Definition

Figure of speech where the second half of a phrase reverses the order of the first half e.g. Samuel Johnson's "For we that live to please, must please to live."


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Standard Definition

[n] inversion in the second of two parallel phrases

See Also...

rhetorical device

Misc. Definitions

\Chi*as"mus\, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ? a placing crosswise, fr. ?. See {Chiasm}.] (Rhet.) An inversion of the order of words or phrases, when repeated or subsequently referred to in a sentence; thus, If e'er to bless thy sons My voice or hands deny, These hands let useful skill forsake, This voice in silence die. --Dwight.