One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a metrical line of verse) lacking one syllable in the last foot.
- ‘The Stabat Mater is composed of six-lines stanzas of trochaic dimeters, the third and sixth lines being catalectic.’
- ‘A minus sign in the notation indicates the line is catalectic, a plus sign indicates a hypermetric line.’
- ‘The lines gradually increase from a trochaic monometer catalectic to a complicated decamter of spondees, anapaests, paeons, and dactyls.’
- ‘A line from which unstressed syllables have been dropped is said to be truncated or catalectic.’
- ‘The concept of catalexis and the catalectic verse is important in the study of the anapaestic dimeter.’
A line lacking a syllable in the last foot.
Late 16th century: from late Latin catalecticus, from Greek katalēktikos, from katalēgein ‘leave off’.
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