qua·​train | \ ˈkwä-ˌtrān How to pronounce quatrain (audio) , kwä-ˈtrān \

Definition of quatrain

: a unit or group of four lines of verse

Examples of quatrain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This week: Write a quatrain or — heck — two of Balliol rhyme about some person. Washington Post, "Style Invitational Week 1372: Trash talk, 1880-style," 20 Feb. 2020 The three quatrains develop an idea or theme, and the final couplet puts forth a conclusion, a summary, an application, a narrowing of focus or even a surprise reversal. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego raises the Bard for Shakespeare’s sonnets," 28 Sep. 2019 There’s a quatrain of film adaptation news this week. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Sims 4 for free, a Just Cause film, and Frostbite's hairy tech demo," 24 May 2019 This example stitches poem (identified by the frame of quatrains) to prose (identified by the four lines inhabited by Absence). Lauren Russell, New York Times, "Poem: Dream-Clung, Gone," 13 Oct. 2017 Kazemi, working under the name Tiny Subversions, also created the Harry Potter-themed , which generated rhyming quatrains that placed followers into a Hogwarts house. Adam Davidson, The New Yorker, "Introducing the New Yorker Poetry Bot," 6 Mar. 2017 Here is the first quatrain of that poem: That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. The New Yorker, "Encounters with Shakespeare," 23 Apr. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quatrain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of quatrain

1584, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quatrain

Middle French, from quatre four, from Latin quattuor

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Time Traveler for quatrain

Time Traveler

The first known use of quatrain was in 1584

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Cite this Entry

“Quatrain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quatrain. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for quatrain


How to pronounce quatrain (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of quatrain

: a poem or verse that has four lines

More from Merriam-Webster on quatrain

Britannica English: Translation of quatrain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quatrain

Comments on quatrain

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