scansion

scansion

[skan-shuhn]
noun Prosody.
the metrical analysis of verse. The usual marks for scansion are ˘ for a short or unaccented syllable, ¯ or · for a long or accented syllable, ^ for a rest, | for a foot division, and ‖ for a caesura or pause.

Origin:
1645–55; < Late Latin scānsiōn- (stem of scānsiō), Latin: a climbing, equivalent to scāns(us) (past participle of scandere to climb) + -iōn- -ion

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Collins
World English Dictionary
scansion (ˈskænʃən)
 
n
quantity See stress the analysis of the metrical structure of verse
 
[C17: from Latin: climbing up, from scandere to climb, scan]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

scansion
1671, "action of marking off of verse in metric feet," from L.L. scansionem (nom. scansio), from L., "act of climbing," from scandere "to climb" (see scan).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

scansion

the analysis and visual representation of a poem's metrical pattern. Adapted from the classical method of analyzing ancient Greek and Roman quantitative verse, scansion in English prosody employs a system of symbols to reveal the mechanics of a poem-i.e., the predominant type of foot (the smallest metrical unit of stressed and unstressed syllables); the number of feet per line; and the rhyme scheme. The purpose of scansion is to enhance the reader's sensitivity to the ways in which rhythmic elements in a poem convey meaning. Deviations in a poem's metrical pattern are often significant to its meaning.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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