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sestina

[se-stee-nuh] /sɛˈsti nə/
noun, plural sestinas, sestine
[se-stee-ney] /sɛˈsti neɪ/ (Show IPA).
Prosody
1.
a poem of six six-line stanzas and a three-line envoy, originally without rhyme, in which each stanza repeats the end words of the lines of the first stanza, but in different order, the envoy using the six words again, three in the middle of the lines and three at the end.
Also called sextain.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Italian, equivalent to sest(o) (< Latin sextus sixth) + -ina -ine2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for sestina
  • The conventions of a dictionary are as formal as those of a sestina, a minuet, or the architectural orders.
British Dictionary definitions for sestina

sestina

/sɛˈstiːnə/
noun
1.
an elaborate verse form of Italian origin, normally unrhymed, consisting of six stanzas of six lines each and a concluding tercet. The six final words of the lines in the first stanza are repeated in a different order in each of the remaining five stanzas and also in the concluding tercet Also called sextain
Word Origin
C19: from Italian, from sesto sixth, from Latin sextus
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 sestina
n.

1797, from Italian, "poem of six-lined stanzas," from sesto "sixth," from Latin sextus (see six). Invented by 12c. Provençal troubadour Arnaut Daniel. The line endings of the first stanza are repeated in different order in the rest, and in an envoi.

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

elaborate verse form employed by medieval Provencal and Italian, and occasional modern, poets. It consists, in its pure medieval form, of six stanzas of blank verse, each of six lines-hence the name. The final words of the first stanza appear in varied order in the other five, the order used by the Provencals being: abcdef, faebdc, cfdabe, ecbfad, deacfb, bdfeca. Following these was a stanza of three lines, in which the six key words were repeated in the middle and at the end of the lines, summarizing the poem or dedicating it to some person

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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