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noun an·a·cru·sis \ˌa-nə-ˈkrü-səs\

Definition of anacrusis



play \-ˌsēz\
  1. 1 :  one or more syllables at the beginning of a line of poetry that are regarded as preliminary to and not a part of the metrical pattern

  2. 2 :  upbeat; specifically :  one or more notes or tones preceding the first downbeat of a musical phrase

Origin and Etymology of anacrusis

New Latin, from Greek anakrousis beginning of a song, from anakrouein to begin a song, from ana- + krouein to strike, beat; akin to Lithuanian kraušyti to strike

First Known Use: 1830

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