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scansion

[skan-shuh n] /ˈskæn ʃən/
noun, Prosody
1.
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
1645-1655
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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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for scansion

scansion

/ˈskænʃən/
noun
1.
the analysis of the metrical structure of verse See quantity (sense 7), stress (sense 4)
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: climbing up, from scandere to climb, scan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for scansion
n.

1670s, "action of marking off of verse in metric feet," from Late Latin scansionem (nominative scansio), in classical Latin, "act of climbing," noun of action from past participle stem of scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). From 1650s in English in literal sense of "action of climbing up."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for 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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