noun, plural anacruses [an-uh-kroo-seez] .
Prosody. an unstressed syllable or syllable group that begins a line of verse but is not counted as part of the first foot.
Music. the note or notes preceding a downbeat; upbeat.

1825–35; < Latin < Greek anákrousis, equivalent to anakroú(ein) to strike up, push back (ana- ana- + kroúein to strike, push) + -sis -sis

anacrustic [an-uh-kruhs-tik] , adjective
anacrustically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
anacrusis (ˌænəˈkruːsɪs)
n , pl -ses
1.  prosody one or more unstressed syllables at the beginning of a line of verse
2.  music
 a.  an unstressed note or group of notes immediately preceding the strong first beat of the first bar
 b.  another word for upbeat
[C19: from Greek anakrousis prelude, from anakrouein to strike up, from ana- + krouein to strike]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1833, "an unstressed syllable at the beginning of a verse," from Gk. anakrousis "a pushing back," from ana- "back" + krouein "to strike" (cognate with Rus. krusit, Lith. krusu "to smash, shatter," O.C.S. kruchu "piece, bit of food").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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