Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


A reaction involving the exchange of elements or groups as in the general equation AX + BY → AY + BX.



one of the types of combinative sound changes, consisting of the transposition of sounds or syllables within a word.

Metathesis is found:

  1. In historical phonetic changes; for example, Russian lo- replaced Common Slavic ol- at the beginning of a word, as in Old Russian lodiia, “boat.”
  2. In the borrowing of words from other languages; for example, Ket garnitsa from Russian granitsa, “border.”
  3. In morphophonological alternations; for example, Georgian Su&qmetl, “fifteen” (not SquSmetl ), from qu&l, “five.”

Metathesis is especially common in substandard (colloquial or dialectal) speech; for example, Russian substandard perelinka for the standard pelerinka, “pelerine,” “cape,” by analogy with the prefix pere-. Metathesis may take place when sounds occur in close proximity (for example, Russian mramor from Latin marmor, “marble”) or when they occur at a distance (for example, Russian futliar from German Futteral, “case”). A special kind of metathesis is quantitative metathesis, whereby the quantitative characteristics (length) of sounds are exchanged, while their qualitative characteristics are retained (as in the Greek transformation of teos to teos).

Metathesis is used in literature for humorous effects (for example, S. Marshak’s poem “How Absentminded He Is”).


References in periodicals archive ?
The term Metathesis is a Greek word that refers to reordering of segments.
The run represented a scale up of 40,000 times what had been previously demonstrated in the laboratory and the largest ever usage of "Schrock" (Molybdenum/Tungsten) catalysts for metathesis with ethylene and a renewable oil.
The rigidity and high glass transition (Tg) characteristics of these epoxy polymers reduce or impede the mobility of the crosslinked network making the metathesis of the disulfide bonds difficult.
In these systems, the efficiency of self-repair function, in terms of trigger, speed and yield, is related to ring-opening metathesis polymerization of the healing agent b> appmpnate catalysts.
The publication points out how capital costs are largely impacted by how integrated with nearby facilities the metathesis unit examined will be.
213); this is metathesis, not haplography, which means "single writing" and refers to "the unintentional writing of a letter or word, or series of letters or words, once, when it should be written twice" (OED).
Schrock has been a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1980 and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis.
A process of adaptation into Scots would involved the following: 1) metathesis of the-r-from the initial consonant cluster spr-to a post-vocalic position; 2) (concurrent?
Two examples taken from the literature about reactive distillation were used to evaluate the proposed methodology: 2-pentene metathesis, investigated by Chen et al.
Elevance will provide natural monomers produced from plant oils along with its proprietary metathesis technology to enable the production of various polymers.
Among these, ILs have recently classified into five types namely alkylation ILs, metathesis ILs, protic ILs, eutectic ILs and protic eutectic ILs.
Among the topics are porous silica in transition metal polymerization catalysts, supported magnesium-titanium-based Ziegler catalysts for producing polyethylene, product morphology in olefin polymerization with polymer-supported metallocene catalysts, copper catalysts for olefin polymerization, ring-opening metathesis polymerizations and acyclic diene metathesis polymerizations with homogeneous ruthenium and molybdenum catalysts and initiators.