Definition of caesura in English:



  • 1(in Greek and Latin verse) a break between words within a metrical foot.

    • ‘Do you think there was anything similar to the Classical Latin caesura?’
    • ‘He appears to be aping the Latin caesura without understanding its structural purpose.’
    • ‘The Greek caesura was always much more flexible than Horace’s, and English tends to treat it as entirely movable.’
    interruption, interval, gap, hiatus, lapse of time, lacuna
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (in modern verse) a pause near the middle of a line.
      • ‘This stanza is typical of his middle free verse style; a varying caesura keeps the music graceful but slightly off-balance.’
      • ‘All the words had been fully present and correctly pronounced; all the line-end pauses and caesuras had been properly respected.’
      • ‘He indicates some of the stresses in the manuscript sources of the poem and marks the caesura or pause in each line.’
      • ‘The caesura forced by an oddly extraneous comma divides the line into question and condition and calls attention to the metaphysical question of how one's position affects one's knowledge.’
      • ‘In this it contrasts with the accentual four-stress line of Old English and Middle English alliterative verse, in which the caesura is expected to fall in the middle of the line.’
      stop, cessation, break, halt, stoppage, standstill, interruption, check, lull, respite, stay, breathing space, discontinuation, discontinuance, hiatus, gap, lapse, lapse of time, interlude, intermission, interval, entr'acte
      View synonyms


Mid 16th century: from Latin, from caes- ‘cut, hewn’, from the verb caedere.