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Inversion of the normal syntactic order of words; for example, "Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear" (Alexander Pope).

[Late Latin anastrophē, from Greek, from anastrephein, to turn upside-down : ana-, ana- + strephein, to turn; see streb(h)- in Indo-European roots.]
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.


(Rhetoric) rhetoric another term for inversion3
[C16: from Greek, from anastrephein to invert]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(əˈnæs trə fi)

reversal of the usual order of words for rhetorical effect.
[1570–80; < Greek: turning back.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a rhetorical device in which the usual word order of a phrase or sentence is reversed.
See also: Rhetoric and Rhetorical Devices
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Another word for inversion.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.anastrophe - the reversal of the normal order of words
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 ?
Among the forty independent clauses of this digression, many ending with question marks or Woolf's characteristic semi-colons, only once does the narrator depart from conventional syntactic order, as in this anastrophe, "Venerable are letters," a departure the narrator varies by repeating the same line in normal order: "Yet letters are venerable" (Woolf 1923, 93).
In "Wishing Well," certain rhythmic and syntactic flourishes--the fluctuations between seven and eight syllables, between three and four accents per line, and the anastrophe of "whether such a small as this / sacrifice is worth one wish"-endowed with fluency a structure that had no correlative in its essentially static scene.
First, they were named by the Greeks and have kept the Greek terminology--isocolon, anastrophe, polysyndeton, etc.
When we ask this question, we will find that in a grammatical sense, this line as a whole cannot be considered as a prepositional phrase; rather it should be a present participle phrase in inverted order that can be called a rhetorical anastrophe. The normal order of the line should be read like this: almost despising myself in these thoughts.