Definition of terza rima in US English:

terza rima


  • An arrangement of triplets, especially in iambs, that rhyme aba bcb cdc, etc., as in Dante's Divine Comedy.

    • ‘It is an elegantly satisfying form, a dramatic equivalent of terza rima, which democratically gives each actor two scenes each.’
    • ‘Merwin opts not to follow the terza rima strictly, or rather he rhymes so freely that he chooses not to speak of it.’
    • ‘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 pentametre.’
    • ‘Dante's terza rima is frustratingly hard to get right in English, and many translators have nearly gone mad trying to get it right.’
    • ‘He favours challenging rhyme schemes and difficult forms, such as the sestina and terza rima.’


Italian, literally ‘third rhyme’.


terza rima

/ˌtərtsə ˈrēmə//ˌtərtsə ˈrimə/