Definition of enjambed in English:



  • (of a line, couplet, or stanza of verse) ending part-way through a sentence or clause which continues in the next.

    • ‘Ryan's own phrase ‘bluntly luscious’ comes to mind to describe the deceptive simplicity of her often short, enjambed lines.’
    • ‘Complex, enjambed sentences and syntactically sophisticated indirect speech reveal the possibilities open to the poet of written, rather than oral, epic.’
    • ‘To see the sun in its ‘essential barrenness’ is but the first of a two-step process that the quintet's final, significantly enjambed line begins to elaborate.’
    • ‘Another aural effect created by it in highly enjambed poems is a counterpoint of the pauses expected at the end of lines with the pauses that occur mid-line as they frame a completed thought or grammatical unit.’
    • ‘In the last four lines, all of them enjambed, Ryan begins to break against the units of grammatical and syntactical sense that give the first nine lines their air of balanced authority and control.’
    • ‘It is highly enjambed, since the urgency of its obvious message (wake up!) carries it over from line to line, stanza to stanza.’
    • ‘Some poems play frequently enjambed lines against end-stopped stanzas; others build up successively stronger enjambments in order to emphasise one big stop.’


Late 19th century: from French enjamber stride over + -ed.