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CHIASMUS

CHIASMUS, also chiasm. In RHETORIC, and INVERSION of word order that creates a counterbalancing effect in the second of two linked phrases: ‘One must eat to live, not live to eat’ (Cicero); ‘This man I thought had been a Lord among wits; but, I find, he is only a wit among Lords’ ( Samuel Johnson, of Lord Chesterfield, 1754). See ANTITHESIS.

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chiasmus

chiasmus figure of speech in which the order of parallel words in phrases is inverted. XIX. — modL. — Gr. khiasmós crossing, diagonal arrangement, f. khiázein mark with the letter X (khī).

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chiasmus

chiasmus •Lammas • Cadmus • Las Palmas •chiasmus, Erasmus •Nostradamus •famous, ignoramus, Seamus, shamus •Polyphemus, Remus •grimace • Michaelmas •Christmas, isthmus •litmus •animus, equanimous, magnanimous, pusillanimous, unanimous •anonymous, eponymous, Hieronymus, pseudonymous, synonymous •Septimus •Mimas, primus, thymus, timeous •Thomas •enormous, ginormous •brumous, hummus, humous, humus, spumous, strumous •blasphemous •bigamous, polygamous, trigamous •endogamous, monogamous •calamus, hypothalamus, thalamus •venomous •autonomous, bonhomous, heteronomous •Pyramus •dichotomous, hippopotamus, trichotomous •Thermos

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