Definition of caesura
caesuraeplay \-ˈzyu̇r-(ˌ)ē, -ˈzhu̇r-\
1 in modern prosody : a usually rhetorical break in the flow of sound in the middle of a line of verse
2 Greek & Latin prosody : a break in the flow of sound in a verse caused by the ending of a word within a foot
4 : a pause marking a rhythmic point of division in a melody
caesuralplay \-ˈzyu̇r-əl, -ˈzhu̇r-\ adjective
caesura was our Word of the Day on 07/16/2016. Hear the podcast!
Recent Examples of caesura from the Web
Jonathan Waldorf, 11, who was missing the sixth grade that day to attend the match, found the action on the V.I.P. monitors fascinating, including the tense caesurae between moves.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caesura'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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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