One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A form of poetry consisting of stanzas of eight lines of ten or eleven syllables, rhyming abababcc.
- ‘There's nothing poetic about a local news personality, except when he does traffic in ottava rima.’
- ‘In the fifth assignment we finally stared metre directly in the face: the assignment was to write a sonnet, terza rima or ottava rima, in iambic pentameter.’
- ‘The portrait also contains sheets of simulated verse to emphasize that he specialized in terza rima and ottava rima.’
- ‘Shelley composed this playful work of 78 stanzas in ottava rima within the space of three days.’
Late 18th century: from Italian, literally ‘eighth rhyme’.
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