noun, plural metatheses [muh-tath-uh-seez] .
the transposition of letters, syllables, or sounds in a word, as in the pronunciation [kuhmf-ter-buhl] for comfortable or [aks] for ask.

1600–10; < Late Latin: transposition of letters of a word < Greek metáthesis transposition. See meta-, thesis

metathetic [met-uh-thet-ik] , metathetical, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
metathesis (mɪˈtæθəsɪs)
n , pl -ses
1.  the transposition of two sounds or letters in a word
2.  chem another name for double decomposition
[C16: from Late Latin, from Greek, from metatithenai to transpose]

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Word Origin & History

1608, "rhetorical transposition of words," from L.L., from Gk. metathesis "change of position, transposition," from stem of metatithenai "to transpose," from meta- "to change" (see meta-) + tithenai "to place, set," from PIE base *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious).
Of letters within a word, from 1660.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

metathesis me·tath·e·sis (mĭ-tāth'ĭ-sĭs)
n. pl. me·tath·e·ses (-sēz')
Double decomposition of chemical compounds in which an element or radical of one compound exchanges places with another element or radical in another compound.

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