Definition of metathesis in English:

metathesis

noun

  • 1Grammar
    mass noun The transposition of sounds or letters in a word.

    ‘he attributes the metathesis of the last two sounds to the Creole tendency to end words with a vowel’
    • ‘Stress errors and phoneme substitutions or metatheses not attributable to dialect or articulation, however, were considered incorrect.’
    • ‘X sometimes alternates with sk by metathesis: Manx for earlier Mansk; piskey as a variant of pixie; ax as a dialect form of ask.’
    • ‘It looks like Safire is assuming a metathesis and then a reshaping to match other cular words, which would supply a/y.’
    • ‘We are dealing here with a phenomenon called metathesis (pronounced mih-TATH-uh-sis), the switching of two adjacent sounds within a word.’
  • 2Chemistry

    another term for double decomposition
    • ‘I've never done an olefin metathesis reaction, which means that the trend started without me and will leave without me.’
    • ‘This was made by metathesis of 1-ethyl - 3-methylimidazolium [emim] with Ag [BF 4] in methanol.’
    • ‘Recently there has also been a growing interest in utilising what is known as the alkene metathesis reaction for altering chain-lengths of ‘oils’ to form new compounds.’
    • ‘In South Africa, interest in alkene metathesis research is growing.’
    • ‘The Nobel prize in Chemistry this year goes to Robert H. Grubbs, Richard R. Schrock, and Yves Chauvin (Institut Francais du Petrole) for the development of metathesis.’

Origin

Late 16th century: from Greek, from metatithenai ‘transpose, change the position of’.

Pronunciation

metathesis

/mɪˈtaθɪsɪs/