Definition of mise en abyme in English:

mise en abyme

(also mise-en-abîme, mis-en-abîme)


Literary Theory
  • (A term denoting) self-reflection within the structure of a literary work; a work employing self-reflection.


1960s; earliest use found in Yale French Studies. From French mise en abyme from mise + en into + abyme, variant of abîme, after mettre en abyme, in which abyme is used in the specifically heraldic sense of the centre of an escutcheon.


mise en abyme

/ˌmiːz ɒn əˈbɪːm//ˌmiːz ɒn aˈbɪːm/