Metathesis definition

mĭ-tăthĭ-sĭs
Frequency:
(linguistics) Transposition within a word of letters, sounds, or syllables, as in the change from Old English brid to modern English bird or in the confusion of modren for modern.
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(chemistry) Double displacement.
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Transposition or interchange.
  • The transposition of sounds in a word or between words (Ex.: “clasp” developed from Middle English “clapse”)
  • (chem.) The interchange of elements or radicals between compounds, as when two compounds react with each other to form two new compounds.
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(prosody) The transposition of letters, syllables or sounds within a word, such as in ask as /æks/
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(inorganic chemistry) The double decomposition of inorganic salts.
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(organic chemistry) The breaking and reforming of double bonds in olefins in which substituent groups are swapped.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
metathesis
Plural:
metatheses

Origin of metathesis

  • Late Latin from Greek from metatithenai to transpose meta- meta- tithenai to place dhē- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Late Latin metathesis, from Ancient Greek μετάθεσις (metáthesis), from μετά (meta, “among") + θέσις (thesis, “placement").

    From Wiktionary