Etymology
Advertisement
metathesis (n.)

1570s, in grammar, "transposition of letters in a word;" c. 1600, "rhetorical transposition of words," from Late Latin metathesis, from Greek metathesis "change of position, transposition, change of opinion," from stem of metatithenai "to transpose," from meta "change" (see meta-) + tithenai "to place, to set," from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put." Plural is metatheses. Related: Metathetic; metathetical.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
metathesize (v.)

"to undergo metathesis," 1893, from metathesis + -ize. Related: Metathesized; metathesizing.

Related entries & more 
*dhe- 

*dhē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to set, put."

It forms all or part of: abdomen; abscond; affair; affect (v.1) "make a mental impression on;" affect (v.2) "make a pretense of;" affection; amplify; anathema; antithesis; apothecary; artifact; artifice; beatific; benefice; beneficence; beneficial; benefit; bibliothec; bodega; boutique; certify; chafe; chauffeur; comfit; condiment; confection; confetti; counterfeit; deed; deem; deface; defeasance; defeat; defect; deficient; difficulty; dignify; discomfit; do (v.); doom; -dom; duma; edifice; edify; efface; effect; efficacious; efficient; epithet; facade; face; facet; facial; -facient; facile; facilitate; facsimile; fact; faction (n.1) "political party;" -faction; factitious; factitive; factor; factory; factotum; faculty; fashion; feasible; feat; feature; feckless; fetish; -fic; fordo; forfeit; -fy; gratify; hacienda; hypothecate; hypothesis; incondite; indeed; infect; justify; malefactor; malfeasance; manufacture; metathesis; misfeasance; modify; mollify; multifarious; notify; nullify; office; officinal; omnifarious; orifice; parenthesis; perfect; petrify; pluperfect; pontifex; prefect; prima facie; proficient; profit; prosthesis; prothesis; purdah; putrefy; qualify; rarefy; recondite; rectify; refectory; sacrifice; salmagundi; samadhi; satisfy; sconce; suffice; sufficient; surface; surfeit; synthesis; tay; ticking (n.); theco-; thematic; theme; thesis; verify.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dadhati "puts, places;" Avestan dadaiti "he puts;" Old Persian ada "he made;" Hittite dai- "to place;" Greek tithenai "to put, set, place;" Latin facere "to make, do; perform; bring about;" Lithuanian dėti "to put;" Polish dziać się "to be happening;" Russian delat' "to do;" Old High German tuon, German tun, Old English don "to do."

Related entries & more 
flimsy (adj.)
1702, of unknown origin, perhaps a metathesis of film (n.) "gauzy covering" + -y (2). Figuratively (of arguments, etc.) from 1750s. Related: Flimsily; flimsiness.
Related entries & more 
sigma 
18th letter of the Greek alphabet, corresponding to Latin S, a metathesis of Hebrew samekh. In uncial writing, shaped like an S or a C.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Sheltie (n.)
"small pony," 1640s, "Shetland pony," from Shelty, abbreviation of Sheltand, metathesis of Shetland. Or the word may represent the Orkney pronunciation of Old Norse Hjalti "Shetlander."
Related entries & more 
wren (n.)
small, migratory singing bird, Old English wrenna, metathesis variation of earlier werna, a Germanic word of uncertain origin. Compare Icelandic rindill, Old High German wrendo, wrendilo "wren."
Related entries & more 
gymno- 
before vowels gymn-, word-forming element meaning "naked, stripped, bare," from Greek gymnos "naked, unclad; bare, mere," from a metathesis of PIE *nogw-mo-, suffixed form of *nogw- "naked" (see naked).
Related entries & more 
gurnard (n.)
small marine fish, early 14c., from Old French gournart (13c.), formed by metathesis of gronir, from Latin grunire "to grunt." The fish so called for the sound it makes when pulled from the water. Compare grunt (n.), grunion.
Related entries & more 
clasp (n.)

c. 1300, claspe, "metal catch or hook used to hold things together," perhaps a metathesis of clapse, and thus from or related to Old English clyppan "clasp" (see clip (v.2)). As "a clinging or grasping," c. 1600.

Related entries & more