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Chiasmus 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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Other Chiasmus Definition

[n] inversion in the second of two parallel phrases

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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.

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