Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[kat-l-ek-tik] /ˌkæt lˈɛk tɪk/ Prosody
(of a line of verse) lacking part of the last foot; metrically incomplete, as the second line of One more unfortunate,/Weary of breath.
a catalectic line of verse.
Origin of catalectic
1580-90; < Late Latin catalēcticus < Greek katalēktikós incomplete, equivalent to katalēk-, variant stem of katalḗgein to leave off (kata- cata- + lḗgein to end) + -tikos -tic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for catalectic
Historical Examples
  • In like manner the catalectic iambic tetrameter is broken up by inserted rhyme into two short verses, viz.

  • Here the alternate lines are catalectic, both light syllables being wanting.

    English Verse Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.
British Dictionary definitions for catalectic


(prosody) (of a line of verse) having an incomplete final foot
Word Origin
C16: via Late Latin from Greek katalēktikos incomplete, from katalēgein, from kata- off + lēgein to stop
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for catalectic

1580s, "wanting a syllable in the last foot," from Late Latin catalecticus, from Greek katalektikos "leaving off," from kata- "down" (see cata-) + legein "to leave off, cease from," from PIE *(s)leg- "to be slack, be languid" (see lax).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for catalectic

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for catalectic

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for catalectic