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caesura

[si-zhoo r-uh, -zoo r-uh, siz-yoo r-uh] /sɪˈʒʊər ə, -ˈzʊər ə, sɪzˈyʊər ə/
noun, plural caesuras, caesurae
[si-zhoo r-ee, -zoo r-ee, siz-yoo r-ee] /sɪˈʒʊər i, -ˈzʊər i, sɪzˈyʊər i/ (Show IPA)
1.
Prosody. a break, especially a sense pause, usually near the middle of a verse, and marked in scansion by a double vertical line, as in know then thyselfpresume not God to scan.
2.
Classical Prosody. a division made by the ending of a word within a foot, or sometimes at the end of a foot, especially in certain recognized places near the middle of a verse.
3.
any break, pause, or interruption.
Also, cesura.
Origin
1550-1560
1550-60; < Latin, equivalent to caes(us) cut (past participle of caedere) (caed- cut + -tus past participle suffix) + -ūra -ure
Related forms
caesural, caesuric, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for caesura
  • The first possible caesura that one encounters in a line is considered the main caesura.
British Dictionary definitions for caesura

caesura

/sɪˈzjʊərə/
noun (pl) -ras, -rae (-riː)
1.
(in modern prosody) a pause, esp for sense, usually near the middle of a verse line Usual symbol |
2.
(in classical prosody) a break between words within a metrical foot, usually in the third or fourth foot of the line
Derived Forms
caesural, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, literally: a cutting, from caedere to cut
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 caesura
n.

1550s, from Latin caesura, "metrical pause," literally "a cutting," from past participle stem of caedere "to cut down" (see -cide).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for caesura

in modern prosody, a pause within a poetic line that breaks the regularity of the metrical pattern. It is represented in scansion by the sign . The caesura sometimes is used to emphasize the formal metrical construction of a line, but it more often introduces the cadence of natural speech patterns and habits of phrasing into the metrical scheme. The caesura may coincide with conventional punctuation marks, as in the following Shakespearean line, in which a strong pause is demanded after each comma for rhetorical expression: This blessed plot,this earth,this realm,this England,

Learn more about caesura with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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