acrostic

noun
acros·​tic | \ə-ˈkrȯs-tik, -ˈkräs-\

Definition of acrostic 

1 : a composition usually in verse in which sets of letters (such as the initial or final letters of the lines) taken in order form a word or phrase or a regular sequence of letters of the alphabet

2 : acronym

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Other Words from acrostic

acrostic or less commonly acrostical \-​ti-​kəl \ adjective
acrostically \-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of acrostic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Drew, a twentysomething educator living in Florida, did just that, charming his matches with poems that were also acrostics spelling out such Tinder-favorite pickup lines as SEND NUDES and WANNA SMASH. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why Facebook banned Alex Jones — and Twitter didn’t," 11 Aug. 2018 Some contained complicated puzzles, acrostics, and rebuses (pictures that represent words or parts of words). Marilyn Yalom, Time, "How the Modern Valentine's Day Card Evolved," 14 Feb. 2018 Two: The acrostics are a distraction, overshadowing the letters’ primary message. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Here's the bottom line on the Energy Department's grid study," 24 Aug. 2017 Two: The acrostics are a distraction, overshadowing the letters’ primary message. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Here's the bottom line on the Energy Department's grid study," 24 Aug. 2017 Two: The acrostics are a distraction, overshadowing the letters’ primary message. Emily Atkin, New Republic, "Trump defectors: Enough with the gimmicky resignation letters.," 23 Aug. 2017 Members of Congress and their staffers use acronyms to put a spin on their legislation all the time. Sneaking an acrostic into a pro forma letter isn’t new either. Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic, "The Acrostic as a Form of Bureaucratic Dissent," 23 Aug. 2017 But, as authorities eventually discovered, the poem was an acrostic that called out the leader of Myanmar’s junta. Joe Freeman, The New Yorker, "The Bizarre Trial of a Poet in Myanmar," 2 Mar. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acrostic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acrostic

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acrostic

borrowed from Middle French & Greek; Middle French acrostiche, borrowed from Greek akrostichís, from akro- acro- + -stichis, derivative of stíchos "line, row, rank," ablaut derivative of steíchein "to go in order, walk, march" — more at stair

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Statistics for acrostic

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for acrostic

The first known use of acrostic was in 1530

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More from Merriam-Webster on acrostic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with acrostic

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about acrostic

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