Definition of strophe in English:



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

    Compare with antistrophe and epode
    • ‘We measured song repertoire size as the number of different song figures in 25 consecutive song strophes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It puts an end to the cyclic character of the six strophes and opens the door back into quotidian time.’
    • ‘Most celebrated were the Epodes, songs in simple strophes usually made up of a hexameter or iambic trimeter plus one or two shorter cola.’
    • ‘The distance between the two vertical arrows indicates the strophe length.’
    • ‘One female sang two short strophes of a typically male song.’
    stanza, strophe, stave, canto
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A structural division of a poem containing stanzas of varying line-length, especially an ode or free verse poem.
      • ‘The order in strophe one appears in stanza two as 6 i, 5 2, 4 3.’
      • ‘In some strophes of the poem I tried to depict the tempest, followed by the calm of the sea.’
      • ‘Though the poems were in a European habit, Bialik imbues them with Biblical strophes, as well as prophetic metaphor, syntax, and meter.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He believes that the syllable count of poetic lines, strophes, stanzas, and poems was essential to the writing of biblical poetry.’


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.