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in medias res

[in me-di-ahs res; English in mee-dee-uh s reez, in mey-dee-ahs reys] /ɪn ˈmɛ dɪˌɑs ˈrɛs; English ɪn ˈmi diˌəs ˈriz, ɪn ˈmeɪ diˌɑs ˈreɪs/
Latin.
1.
in the middle of things.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for in medias res

in medias res

/ɪn ˈmiːdɪˌæs ˈreɪs/
uknown
1.
in or into the middle of events or a narrative
Word Origin
literally: into the midst of things, taken from a passage in Horace's Ars Poetica
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for in medias res

Latin, literally "in the midst of things" (see medium).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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in medias res in Culture
in medias res [(in may-dee-uhs, mee-dee-uhs rays)]

In the middle of the action. Epics often begin in medias res. For example, the Odyssey, which tells the story of the wanderings of the hero Odysseus, begins almost at the end of his wanderings, just before his arrival home. In medias res is a Latin phrase used by the poet Horace; it means “in the middle of things.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for in medias res

in narrative technique, the recommended practice of beginning an epic or other fictional form by plunging into a crucial situation that is part of a related chain of events; the situation is an extension of previous events and will be developed in later action. The narrative then goes directly forward, and exposition of earlier events is supplied by flashbacks. The principle is based on the practice of Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Iliad, for example, begins dramatically with the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon during the Trojan War. The Latin poet and critic Horace has pointed out the immediate interest created by this opening in contrast to beginning the story ab ovo ("from the egg")-i.e., from the birth of Achilles

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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