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[ahr-sis] /ˈɑr sɪs/
noun, plural arses
[ahr-seez] /ˈɑr siz/ (Show IPA)
Music. the upward stroke in conducting; upbeat.
Compare thesis (def 4).
  1. the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus or stress.
  2. (less commonly) a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus.
    Compare thesis (def 5).
1350-1400; Middle English: raising the voice < Latin < Greek, equivalent to ar- (stem of aírein to raise, lift) + -sis -sis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for arsis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
(in classical prosody) the long syllable or part on which the ictus falls in a metrical foot Compare thesis (sense 6)
Word Origin
C18: via Late Latin from Greek, from airein to raise
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Encyclopedia Article for arsis

in prosody, respectively, the accented and unaccented parts of a poetic foot. Arsis, a term of Greek origin meaning "the act of raising or lifting" or "raising the foot in beating time," refers in Greek, or quantitative, verse to the lighter or shorter part of a poetic foot, and thesis to the accented part of the poetic foot. In Latin, or accentual, verse, the meanings of these words were reversed-arsis came to mean the accented or longer part of the foot, and thesis the unaccented part. It is the Latin meaning that has been retained in modern usage

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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