noun \ˈprä-sə-dē, -zə-\

: the rhythm and pattern of sounds of poetry and language

plural pros·o·dies

Full Definition of PROSODY

:  the study of versification; especially :  the systematic study of metrical structure
:  a particular system, theory, or style of versification
:  the rhythmic and intonational aspect of language
pros·o·dist \-dist\ noun

Origin of PROSODY

Middle English, from Latin prosodia accent of a syllable, from Greek prosōidia song sung to instrumental music, accent, from pros in addition to + ōidē song — more at pros-, ode
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Study of the elements of language, especially metre, that contribute to rhythmic and acoustic effects in poetry. The basis of “traditional” prosody in English is the classification of verse according to the syllable stress of its lines. Effects such as rhyme scheme, alliteration, and assonance further influence a poem's “sound meaning.” Nonmetrical prosodic study is sometimes applied to modern poetry, and visual prosody is used when verse is “shaped” by its typographical arrangement. Prosody also involves examining the subtleties of a poem's rhythm, its “flow,” the historical period to which it belongs, the poetic genre, and the poet's individual style.


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