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anacrusis

[an-uh-kroo-sis] /ˌæn əˈkru sɪs/
noun, plural anacruses
[an-uh-kroo-seez] /ˌæn əˈkru siz/ (Show IPA)
1.
Prosody. an unstressed syllable or syllable group that begins a line of verse but is not counted as part of the first foot.
2.
Music. the note or notes preceding a downbeat; upbeat.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35; < Latin < Greek anákrousis, equivalent to anakroú(ein) to strike up, push back (ana- ana- + kroúein to strike, push) + -sis -sis
Related forms
anacrustic
[an-uh-kruhs-tik] /ˌæn əˈkrʌs tɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
anacrustically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for anacrustic

anacrusis

/ˌænəˈkruːsɪs/
noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
1.
(prosody) one or more unstressed syllables at the beginning of a line of verse
2.
(music)
  1. an unstressed note or group of notes immediately preceding the strong first beat of the first bar
  2. another word for upbeat
Derived Forms
anacrustic (ˌænəˈkrʌstɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Greek anakrousis prelude, from anakrouein to strike up, from ana- + krouein to strike
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anacrustic
anacrusis
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 Article for anacrustic

anacrusis

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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