caesura

play
noun cae·su·ra \si-ˈzyu̇r-ə, -ˈzhu̇r-\

Definition of caesura

plural

caesuras

or

caesurae

play \-ˈzyu̇r-(ˌ)ē, -ˈzhu̇r-\
  1. 1 in modern prosody :  a usually rhetorical break in the flow of sound in the middle of a line of verse

  2. 2 Greek & Latin prosody :  a break in the flow of sound in a verse caused by the ending of a word within a foot

  3. 3 :  break, interruption a caesura between the movie and its sequel

  4. 4 :  a pause marking a rhythmic point of division in a melody

caesural

play \-ˈzyu̇r-əl, -ˈzhu̇r-\ adjective

caesura was our Word of the Day on 07/16/2016. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Caesuras (or caesurae) are those slight pauses one makes as one reads verse. While it may seem that their most obvious role is to emphasize the metrical construction of the verse, more often we need these little stops (which may be, but are not necessarily, set off by punctuation) to introduce the cadence and phrasing of natural speech into the metrical scheme. The word caesura, borrowed from Late Latin, is ultimately from Latin caedere meaning "to cut." Nearly as old as the 450-year-old poetry senses is the general meaning of "a break or interruption."

Origin and Etymology of caesura

Late Latin, from Latin, act of cutting, from caedere to cut


First Known Use: circa 1567



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