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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Encyclopedia Britannica


in classical prosody, the up (or weak) beat, one or more syllables at the beginning of a line of poetry that are not regarded as a part of the metrical pattern of that line. Some scholars do not acknowledge this phenomenon. The term is from the Greek anakrousis, meaning "the act of pushing back," or "beginning of a tune."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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