1

sapphic

adjective sap·phic \ ˈsa-fik \

Definition of sapphic

1 capitalized :of or relating to the Greek lyric poet Sappho
2 :of, relating to, or consisting of a 4-line strophe made up of chiefly trochaic and dactylic feet
3 :lesbian 2

sapphic and Greek Poet Sappho

The poet Sappho wrote poems of self-reflection but also of passion, some of it directed to the women attending the school she conducted on the Greek island of Lesbos around 600 B.C. Even though most of the poems survive only as fragments, they have been greatly admired for many centuries. They were written in an original rhythmical pattern, which has become known as sapphic verse. Later admirers, such as the Roman poets Catullus and Horace, honored her by adopting the sapphic meter for their own poetry. Because of Sappho, the island of Lesbos also gave its name to lesbianism, which writers often used to call sapphic love.

First Known Use of sapphic

1501


2

sapphic

noun

Definition of sapphic

1 :a verse having the metrical pattern of one of the first three lines of a sapphic strophe
2 :a sapphic strophe

First Known Use of sapphic

1586


SAPPHIC Defined for English Language Learners

sapphic

adjective

Definition of sapphic for English Language Learners

  • : of or relating to sexual relations between women


Medical Dictionary

sapphic

adjective or noun sap·phic \ ˈsaf-ik \

medical Definition of sapphic

Biographical Note for sapphic

  • Sappho play \ˈsaf-(ˌ)ō\ (flourished circa 610 BC–circa 580 BC), Greek lyric poet. Sappho was the leading spirit of a coterie of female poets on the Aegean isle of Lesbos. Because of the homosexual themes in her poetry, she herself has traditionally been regarded as homosexual.

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