Definition of tetrastich in US English:



  • A group of four lines of verse.

    • ‘That this is a work adapted from Ovid's poem is evident from the prominent authorial emphasis given to Johannes Posthius of Germersheim on the title-page: he is the author of the German and Latin tetrastichs which make up the text of the book.’
    • ‘There is no alteration in the words; but the two tetrastichs composing the first stanza are transposed.’
    • ‘If Edward Cowell hadn't been able to interest Edward FitzGerald in the study of the Persian language in 1852 and brought to FitzGerald's notice in 1856 a Persian manuscript in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, then FitzGerald would not have translated these ‘Epicurean tetrastichs by a Persian of the eleventh century’.’
    • ‘They are called the Ausonii Tetrastichon because they are a series of tetrastichs - four-line stanzas - by the fourth century Gallo-Roman poet Ausonius.’
    • ‘The original Rubaiyat (as, missing an Arabic guttural, these tetrastichs are more musically called) are independent stanzas, consisting each of four lines of equal, though varied, prosody; sometimes all rhyming, but oftener (as here imitated) the third line a blank.’
    stanza, strophe, stave, canto
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Late 16th century: via Latin from Greek tetrastikhon ‘having four rows’, from tetra- ‘four’ + stikhon ‘row, line of verse’.