Definition of strophe in US English:



  • 1The first section of an ancient Greek choral ode or of one division of it.

    Compare with antistrophe and epode (sense 2)
    • ‘It puts an end to the cyclic character of the six strophes and opens the door back into quotidian time.’
    • ‘The distance between the two vertical arrows indicates the strophe length.’
    • ‘One female sang two short strophes of a typically male song.’
    • ‘For example, in Schubert's Heidenröslein three verses, or strophes, are set to the same melody, with no alterations to the voice part or the piano accompaniment.’
    • ‘Frequency and strophe length were measured in narrow and wide band modes, respectively.’
    • ‘Most celebrated were the Epodes, songs in simple strophes usually made up of a hexameter or iambic trimeter plus one or two shorter cola.’
    • ‘We measured song repertoire size as the number of different song figures in 25 consecutive song strophes.’
    stanza, stave, canto
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A structural division of a poem containing stanzas of varying line-length, especially an ode or free verse poem.
      • ‘He believes that the syllable count of poetic lines, strophes, stanzas, and poems was essential to the writing of biblical poetry.’
      • ‘The order in strophe one appears in stanza two as 6 i, 5 2, 4 3.’
      • ‘Fourthly, there is a subtle, but powerful alliteration in the fourth line of the second strophe, ‘Amidst an ocean full of flying fishes’.’
      • ‘The poem's initial strophe is careful, slow-moving, tonally sophisticated, and somewhat puzzling.’
      • ‘The poem's closing strophe shows how Kaufman had become a master in capturing the lyrical qualities of the music and bringing them to bear in his poetry.’
      • ‘Her specific topics are seen as well in the first strophe, along with a judgment of the quality of her voice.’
      • ‘The most usual skaldic metre is ‘dróttkvaett ’, a strophe which consists of eight six-syllable lines, each ending in a trochee.’
      • ‘An ‘aria’ was distinguished from a ‘madrigal’ in having a strophic text, with the same music, or a variation of it, set to each strophe.’
      • ‘Syllabic verse is generally organized in four-line strophes, whereas the number of lines in a rosc passage is not fixed.’
      • ‘In some strophes of the poem I tried to depict the tempest, followed by the calm of the sea.’
      • ‘It deals with the time factor employed in or between lines or units or strophes of poetry.’
      • ‘Such are the strophes exchanged between America's intellectual divinities.’
      • ‘There are surreal poems like ‘Battle Report,’ with its opening strophe.’
      • ‘Though the poems were in a European habit, Bialik imbues them with Biblical strophes, as well as prophetic metaphor, syntax, and meter.’


Early 17th century: from Greek strophē, literally ‘turning’, from strephein ‘to turn’: the term originally denoted a movement from right to left made by a Greek chorus, or lines of choral song recited during this.