Caesura

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Caesura'

Caesura Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    caesura n
  1. a pause or interruption (as in a conversation); "after an ominous caesura the preacher continued"
  2. a break or pause (usually for sense) in the middle of a verse line [also: caesurae (pl)]
Caesura Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Caesura \C[ae]*su"ra\, n.; pl. E. C[ae]suras, L. C[ae]sur[ae] [L. caesura a cutting off, a division, stop, fr. caedere, caesum, to cut off. See Concise.] A metrical break in a verse, occurring in the middle of a foot and commonly near the middle of the verse; a sense pause in the middle of a foot. Also, a long syllable on which the c[ae]sural accent rests, or which is used as a foot. Note: In the following line the c[ae]sura is between study and of. The prop | er stud | y || of | mankind | is man.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Caesura'


In meter, a caesura (alternative spellings are cæsura and cesura) is a complete stop in a line of poetry. The plural form of caesura is caesuras or caesurae.

There are two types of caesurae: masculine and feminine. A masculine caesura is a pause that follows a stressed syllable; a feminine caesura follows an unstressed syllable. Another distinction is by the position of the caesura in a line. An initial caesura describes a break close to the beginning of a line, a medial denotes a pause in the middle and a terminal occurs at the very end. Initial and terminal caesurae were rare in formal, Romance, and Neoclassical verse, which preferred medial caesurae. In scansion, the "double pipe" sign ("||") is used to denote the position of a caesura in a line.

Caesurae feature prominently in Greek and Latin versification, especially in the heroic verse form, dactylic hexameter.

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