scan·​sion ˈskan(t)-shən How to pronounce scansion (audio)
: the analysis of verse to show its meter

Examples of scansion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Toshio Hosokawa’s monodrama for mezzo-soprano and 12 players, probes deeply into the terror and loss of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem through a jagged, atonal setting that stretches the scansion out of its familiar rhythm. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 4 Oct. 2022 Clarity for lyricists has to refer not just to scansion and word choice, but also how their songs are communicated. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 29 July 2022 And this is not to touch upon the scansion; forms were, for Valéry, crucial and complex. Claire Messud, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020 And replacing Shakespearean scansion with looser Seuss-ish rhyme schemes would add to the comedy and make the long bouts of exposition at the beginning and end of the play less tedious. Christopher Arnott,, 19 Aug. 2019

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

Word History


Late Latin scansion-, scansio, from Latin, act of climbing, from scandere

First Known Use

1671, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of scansion was in 1671

Dictionary Entries Near scansion

Cite this Entry

“Scansion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


scan·​sion ˈskan-chən How to pronounce scansion (audio)
: the analysis of verse to show its meter

More from Merriam-Webster on scansion

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!