n. pl. me·tath·e·ses (-sēz′)
1. 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.
2. Chemistry Double displacement.
[Late Latin, from Greek, from metatithenai, to transpose : meta-, meta- + tithenai, to place; see dhē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
met′a·thetic (mĕt′ə-thĕtĭk), met′a·theti·cal adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.