anacrusis

noun an·a·cru·sis \ ˌa-nə-ˈkrü-səs \

Definition of anacrusis

plural anacruses play \-ˌsēz\
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 : 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


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