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.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.