cat·​a·​lec·​tic ˌka-tə-ˈlek-tik How to pronounce catalectic (audio)
: lacking a syllable at the end of a line in metrical verse or ending in an incomplete foot
catalectic noun

Word History


Late Latin catalecticus, from Greek katalēktikos, from katalēgein to leave off, from kata- + lēgein to stop — more at slack

First Known Use

1589, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of catalectic was in 1589

Dictionary Entries Near catalectic

Cite this Entry

“Catalectic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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