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n. pl. chi·as·mi (-mī′)
A rhetorical inversion of the second of two parallel structures, as in "Each throat / Was parched, and glazed each eye" (Samuel Taylor Coleridge).

[New Latin chīasmus, from Greek khīasmos, syntactic inversion, from khīazein, to invert or mark with an X; see chiasma.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -mi (-maɪ)
(Rhetoric) rhetoric reversal of the order of words in the second of two parallel phrases: he came in triumph and in defeat departs.
[C19: from New Latin, from Greek khiasmos crisscross arrangement; see chiasma]
chiastic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(kaɪˈæz məs)

n., pl. -mi (-mī).
a reversal in the order of words in two parallel phrases, as in “He went in, out went she.”
[1870–75; < Greek chiasmós; see chiasma]
chi•as′tic (-ˈæs tɪk) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases, as “flowers are lovely, love is flowerlike” (Coleridge). — chiastic, adj.
See also: Rhetoric and Rhetorical Devices
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The reversal in a second parallel phrase of the order of words in an initial phrase.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.chiasmus - inversion in the second of two parallel phrases
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ode," and Keats's Great Odes overuse chiastic tropes to figure
Results demonstrate that SCN (the over chiastic nucleus) is a key region which mediates the early effects of olanzapine over the cardiovascular function and shows that melatonin has opposing effects and potentially protective which justifies additional investigations (11).
Yet the transcendence of erotic love is not a unidirectional movement towards divine love, but rather a chiastic interchange.
The constant, chiastic shuffle of designers at top houses only underscores this fact.
And so too, with a typically Lewisian chiastic flipping, Lewis inverts the evolutionary myth.
chiastic vacillation of sameness and difference) the circumstantial
(24) As I see it, the guiding impulse of Stalinist culture (at least until the tide turned in the war in 1943) is to invoke both structures simultaneously, as if using the vacillation between them--and occasionally their hybridisation though chiastic superimposition--to create a makeshift, surrogate experience of absolute jouissance ('communism'), suppressing the disturbing effects of objet a without eliminating them (because without these effects the 'engine' of modern ambivalence would stall).
This weird in-between, chiastic region is ambiguous and narcissistic.
The author covers the chiastic design and ShakespeareAEs scene division, before analyzing twenty-six of the authorAEs plays including Julius Caesar, King John, Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, Henry V, and many others.
and so forth Tone Units in Metrical Section 3 Mapped waters are more quiet than the land is, lending the land their waves' own confirmation; And Norway's hare runs south in agitation, and so forth In addition to this tight control of phrasing, in my reading, many of the phrasal contours in "The Map" are either triple or chiastic (SW/WS) at high levels.
(21) Manoussakis calls this inverse intentionality, "a chiastic point where the two extremes cross paths," (22) though I prefer the term double intentionality, as the phenomenon is given as a very real meeting of two centers of consciousness.
Yet for all this downy lightness, the lines bear the interlocking heft of plosive alliteration and end-consonant rhyme (familiar to Hopkins as the Icelandic poetic device of skothending): the / and b of "fleshbound when found at best" (a chiastic rhyme pattern); the d of "meadow-down is not distressed"; the lengthening rhymes from "rest," "nest," and "best" to "distressed." (46) This relative weight works against the sense and against the outrides on "uncum[bered]" "footing it]" that are meant to mimic the softness underneath their figures.