Definition of anastrophe in US English:



  • The inversion of the usual order of words or clauses.

    • ‘Old English sounds riddled with anastrophe to speakers of Modern English.’
    • ‘The use of repetition, compound words, and anastrophe are key stylistic traits of Circle and are found throughout the collection of historic manuscripts that inspired it.’
    • ‘That grandness is achieved with two schemes: anastrophe (inversion of normal word order) and antithesis (juxtaposition of contrasting ideas).’
    • ‘He also engages in that time-tested rhetorical device, the ad hominem attack, through an anastrophe.’
    • ‘The Dryden translation is a little harder to get into with its deliberate archaisms and anastrophes, but once you do it's very rhythmic and compelling.’


Mid 16th century: from Greek anastrophē ‘turning back’, from ana- ‘back’ + strephein ‘to turn’.