Definition of stanza in US English:



  • 1A group of lines forming the basic recurring metrical unit in a poem; a verse.

    • ‘Armed with those data, Jouet composed poems about each of them in a similar poetic form: three stanzas of six verses each.’
    • ‘Free verse is positioned alongside tightly organized stanzas; individual poems range in length from 4 to 204 lines.’
    • ‘The last stanzas of the poem recall all the incipient violence woven into the myth of the Prince of Peace.’
    • ‘For the shift in perspective and mood that we see here distinctly parallels and further develops a similar shift both in the sonnet and in the first few stanzas of the poem's development.’
    • ‘The stanza continues the poem's play with the withholding of images.’
    • ‘Bowyer evidently followed this spirit by omitting over eight stanzas of the poem and significantly altering others.’
    • ‘That coming-to-consciousness is a task of great difficulty, and the final stanza of the poem enacts that difficulty.’
    • ‘Its intricate rhyme scheme has six stanzas of seven lines each in a sequence of AAABBCC.’
    • ‘The composer's job becomes, in this case, to find a single musical stanza that suits all the verse stanzas.’
    • ‘First, with respect to prosody, he believes that the syllable count of poetic lines, strophes, stanzas, and poems was essential to the writing of biblical poetry.’
    • ‘The first five stanzas of the poem consider the possibility of this Utopian, undifferentiated unity the opening lines propose.’
    • ‘Outside his dramatic and narrative compositions the resulting strains show mostly in lyrical poems constructed of successive stanzas.’
    • ‘However, the last stanza of this poem reluctantly acknowledges the need for-the inevitability of dualism.’
    • ‘She organizes the first part of her mother's narrative into four prose passages, each shaped like a stanza in a poem.’
    • ‘If the poem ended after two stanzas, it would seem narrow of heart.’
    • ‘Through the third stanza, the poem is a recollection of young love, a bittersweet and innocuous piece.’
    • ‘The stanza turns the poem into an explication by allegory of Catholic doctrine.’
    • ‘When first working with a client, Sheehan likes to film them reading the first few stanzas of the epic poem Casey at the Bat.’
    • ‘Musically, Brahms spends little time depicting the dialogue of the fourth, fifth and sixth stanzas of the poem.’
    • ‘But by the time we get to the end of the stanza and the poem, the tone will have changed totally.’
    strophe, stave, canto
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A group of four lines in some Greek and Latin meters.
      • ‘It is written in stanzas of four octosyllabic lines rhyming a b b a, and is divided into 132 sections of varying length.’
      • ‘I thought it was curious, then, when I saw the phrase in Sappho, in the first stanza of the poem To Atthis.’


Late 16th century: from Italian, literally ‘standing place’, also ‘stanza’.