Definition of chiasmus in English:

chiasmus

noun

  • A rhetorical or literary figure in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order.

    • ‘This is one of the better examples of Dowdian wordplay, as the throwaway ‘or vice versa’ cleverly suggests an absurd chiasmus.’
    • ‘Ovid's chiasmus is a rhetorical picture of the lovers being pulled apart.’
    • ‘The chiasmus points to how the questions function as quasi-incantations rather than genuine queries needing answers.’
    • ‘He or she may have heard of alliteration, onomatopoeia, metonymy, synecdoche, and chiasmus.’
    • ‘An analysis of this speech reveals that the student used varied repetition strategies, including anaphora, antithesis, chiasmus, and parallelism.’
    • ‘One such description occurs in the opening lines of the poem as Milton joins two rhetorical devices, chiasmus and paradox, to declare his subject.’

Origin

Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘crosswise arrangement’): modern Latin, from Greek khiasmos, from khiazein ‘mark with the letter chi’, from khi ‘chi’.

Pronunciation

chiasmus

/kʌɪˈazməs//kɪˈazməs/