from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Linguistics Transposition within a word of letters, sounds, or syllables, as in the change from Old English brid to modern English bird or in the confusion of modren for modern.
  • n. Chemistry Double decomposition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the transposition of letters, syllables or sounds within a word, such as in ask as /æks/
  • n. the double decomposition of inorganic salts
  • n. the breaking and reforming of double bonds in olefins in which substituent groups are swapped

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Transposition, as of the letters or syllables of a word
  • n. A mere change in place of a morbid substance, without removal from the body.
  • n. The act, process, or result of exchange, substitution, or replacement of atoms and radicals.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In grammar, transposition, more especially of the letters, sounds, or syllables of a word, as in the case of Anglo-Saxon ācsian, ās-cian, English ax, ask; Anglo-Saxon brid, English bird.
  • n. In surgery, a change in place of a morbid substance; an operation removing a morbific agent from one part to another, as in couching for cataract
  • n. In logic, same as conversion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a chemical reaction between two compounds in which parts of each are interchanged to form two new compounds (AB+CD=AD+CB)
  • n. a linguistic process of transposition of sounds or syllables within a word or words within a sentence


Late Latin, from Greek, from metatithenai, to transpose : meta-, meta- + tithenai, to place; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin metathesis, from Ancient Greek μετάθεσις (metáthesis), from μετά (meta, "among") + θέσις (thesis, "placement"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.