pal·​in·​ode ˈpa-lə-ˌnōd How to pronounce palinode (audio)
: an ode or song recanting or retracting something in an earlier poem
: a formal retraction

Did you know?

Does singing someone's praises in a palinode pay off? It did in the case of Stesichorus, a Greek poet of the 6th century B.C. According to Plato, old Stesichorus was struck blind after writing a poem insulting Helen of Troy, but his sight was restored after he wrote an apologetic palinode. That poet was only too glad to apply the Greek word palinōidia (a compound of palin, meaning "back" or "again," and aeidein, meaning "to sing"). So were 16th-century English poets, who borrowed and modified the Greek term to refer to odes of their own.

Word History


Greek palinōidia, from palin + aeidein to sing — more at ode

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of palinode was in 1579


Dictionary Entries Near palinode

Cite this Entry

“Palinode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

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