verse line, 1580s, said to be from O.Fr. Roman d'Alexandre, a poem about Alexander the Great that was popular in the Middle Ages, which used a 12-syllable line of 6 feet (the Fr. heroic verse); it was used in Eng. to vary the heroic verse of 5 feet. The name also sometimes is said to be from Alexandre de Paris, medieval Fr. poet, who used such a line (and who also wrote one of the popular Alexander the Great poems).