One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in Greek and Latin verse) a break between words within a metrical foot.
interruption, interval, gap, hiatus, lapse of time, lacunaView synonyms
- ‘He appears to be aping the Latin caesura without understanding its structural purpose.’
- ‘The Greek caesura was always much more flexible than Horaces, and English tends to treat it as entirely movable.’
- ‘Do you think there was anything similar to the Classical Latin caesura?’
- 1.1 (in modern verse) a pause near the middle of a 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'acteView synonyms
- ‘He indicates some of the stresses in the manuscript sources of the poem and marks the caesura or pause in each line.’
- ‘This stanza is typical of his middle free verse style; a varying caesura keeps the music graceful but slightly off-balance.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘All the words had been fully present and correctly pronounced; all the line-end pauses and caesuras had been properly respected.’
- ‘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.’
Mid 16th century: from Latin, from caes- ‘cut, hewn’, from the verb caedere.
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