Definition of tercet in English:



  • A set or group of three lines of verse rhyming together or connected by rhyme with an adjacent triplet.

    • ‘Both albums are rife with lyrical references to rolling hills, trees, creeks, dirty knees and breezes, and delivered in direct couplets or simply rhymed tercets.’
    • ‘But instead of following the never-ending spiral of an apple peel, the story is delimited by closed circularity: it begins with the last tercets and closes with the first quatrains of a sonnet.’
    • ‘To analyze a sonnet into quatrains and tercets is to recognize it as a sonnet, and so to relate it to a conventional lyrical category.’
    • ‘Another recurrent prosodic trait in this book is the repetition of tercets.’
    • ‘He compiles a list of expressions to designate this double object and devotes the sonnet's tercets to its description.’


Late 16th century: from French, from Italian terzetto, diminutive of terzo ‘third’, from Latin tertius.