pros·​o·​dy ˈprä-sə-dē How to pronounce prosody (audio) -zə- How to pronounce prosody (audio)
plural prosodies
: the study of versification
especially : the systematic study of metrical structure
: a particular system, theory, or style of versification
: the rhythmic and intonational aspect of language
prosodist noun

Examples of prosody in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the landscape, like Homer’s prosody, is mostly rugged and austere. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 Its plodding melody is a key component to Roger Waters’ prosody—the vocal variations like intonation, stress, rhythm, and accent that make human speech sound… well, human. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 16 Aug. 2023 His research focuses on prosody and intonation, namely the production, processing, development, and documentation of sentence-level tonal contours in the world’s languages. Ben MacAulay, Popular Science, 22 June 2023 In a world where we are surrounded by robots who need to communicate their state of mind, mood and emotion, prosody, and gestures seem like a great subtle back channel to do so, since humans cannot really process multiple linguistic channels effectively. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Feb. 2023 Another digs in further to how a person presents information, but instead of zeroing in on eye movement or fidgeting, the focus is on elements of speech including linguistics, and specifically prosody — the sound, rhythm or intonation of speech. Sophie Putka, Discover Magazine, 13 July 2021 Christopher Ricks, a distinguished scholar of Victorian and modernist poetry, wrote a treatise that takes Dylan’s prosody as seriously as that of Tennyson or Eliot. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 24 Oct. 2022 Our goal, then, is to modify the parts of audio that correspond to a speaker's personal style or timbre while preserving the parts of the audio that correspond to the spoken content such as prosody and words. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 8 Sep. 2022 Indeed, Allen Ginsberg, no less, saw a connection between the Skeltonic tradition and rap prosody almost upon rap’s earliest crossover appearances, around 1980. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prosody.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin prosodia accent of a syllable, from Greek prosōidia song sung to instrumental music, accent, from pros in addition to + ōidē song — more at pros-, ode

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prosody was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near prosody

Cite this Entry

“Prosody.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


pros·​o·​dy ˈpräs-əd-ē How to pronounce prosody (audio)
plural prosodies
: the study of the structure of poetry

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