arsis

noun
ar·​sis | \ ˈär-səs How to pronounce arsis (audio) \
plural arses\ ˈär-​ˌsēz How to pronounce arses (audio) \

Definition of arsis

1a : the lighter or shorter part of a poetic foot especially in quantitative verse
b : the accented or longer part of a poetic foot especially in accentual verse
2 : the unaccented part of a musical measure — compare thesis

Examples of arsis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Alps were shortish men with massive arses and brutally capable forearms. Colin Barrett, Harper's magazine, "The Alps," 22 July 2019

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

First Known Use of arsis

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for arsis

Late Latin & Greek; Late Latin, raising of the voice, accented part of foot, from Greek, upbeat, less important part of foot, literally, act of lifting, from aeirein, airein to lift

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about arsis

Statistics for arsis

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arsis

The first known use of arsis was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on arsis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arsis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about arsis

Comments on arsis

What made you want to look up arsis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!