Definition of caesura in English:

caesura

noun

  • 1(in Greek and Latin verse) a break between words within a metrical foot.

    • ‘Do you think there was anything similar to the Classical Latin caesura?’
    • ‘He appears to be aping the Latin caesura without understanding its structural purpose.’
    • ‘The Greek caesura was always much more flexible than Horace’s, and English tends to treat it as entirely movable.’
    interruption, interval, gap, hiatus, lapse of time, lacuna
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    1. 1.1 (in modern verse) a pause near the middle of a line.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All the words had been fully present and correctly pronounced; all the line-end pauses and caesuras had been properly respected.’
      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'acte
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    2. 1.2 Any interruption or break.
      ‘an unaccountable caesura: no deaths were reported in the newspapers’
      • ‘Looking back, he regards 1968 as a caesura, a moment - rather like 1789 - when the history of previous decades had to be rewritten.’
      • ‘In this case the past overflows its boundaries and replaces a continuous and intelligible vision of history with one that is characterized by unfathomable caesuras.’
      • ‘There were very fun moments in the caesuras between huge chunks of the world blowing up and similarly boring activity.’
      • ‘He sees the caesura that defines Africa's denied presence in language, but either does not see it or will not discuss its composition in his novel or in his critical practice.’
      • ‘In his view, future ethical and political thought needs to inhabit the very caesuras and oppositions, divisions and articulations, still enabling human beings to think that man pursues a distinctive historical mission.’
      • ‘There are of course common caesuras, as far as overall political periodization is concerned: the immediate post-war years, the years of cold war division, the turning-point of 1989-90, are all Europe-wide.’
      • ‘To identify some moment - in this case, all we are told is that the caesura occurs after the American Revolution - as marking the birth of true capitalism is to place too much emphasis on one supposedly sharp break.’
      • ‘On this reading, the ‘death’ that separates written and writing selves is not a state the subject of autobiography moves toward; ‘death’ is the moment, a caesura within the subject.’
      • ‘A mathematical division called caesura structures the painting.’
      • ‘Precisely because his life was so full of caesuras he was followed by the party ranks just as the Israelites followed Moses.’
      • ‘His daughter, who opens the storytelling and serves as the guide through a couple of caesuras that thread the twelve tales, reminds her listeners that their family origins lie in Sicily: ‘The rope is la famigghia, see?’’
      • ‘From a long-term point of view, therefore, the tumultuous changes in Italian religion at the end of the early modern period mark not the dawn of a new era but merely a caesura.’
      • ‘His process introduces a caesura for contemplation between looking at an object and painting it; the result highlights the idiosyncrasy of painting.’
      • ‘‘Glass facilitates faster communication between inside and outside, yet at the same time it sets up an invisible but material caesura which prevents such communication from becoming a real opening onto the world’ (Baudrillard).’
      • ‘Everything had changed, a caesura had opened in world history.’
      • ‘All of the major European democracies have had great caesuras in their democratic traditions.’
      • ‘In my function as translator, I want to be as constant as that musician, who blew without caesura, the way the voice pours one word into the next, his trumpet the instrument of the world's coming out.’
      • ‘Inside the caesura of such a brokenness he has built a home for human longing, its finitudes and its hunger for the beyond that both encloses and exposes it.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: from Latin, from caes- ‘cut, hewn’, from the verb caedere.

Pronunciation