One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(chiefly in Old English verse) a half of a line of verse.
- ‘The column is divided into hemistichs justified at the outer edges.’
- ‘The point of his entire speech seems to be summed up in the first hemistich of line 279.’
- ‘While the stress count in each hemistich ranges from one to three (with the exception of the line in bold-face) there is no dominant foot or syllabic pattern.’
- ‘Bénabou joins the first hemistich of each line to the second of another: the first alexandrine thus selected is the opening line of Rimbaud's ‘Bateau ivre’.’
Late 16th century: via late Latin from Greek hēmistikhion, from hēmi- ‘half’ + stikhos ‘row, line of verse’.
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