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[stan-zuh] /ˈstæn zə/
noun, Prosody
an arrangement of a certain number of lines, usually four or more, sometimes having a fixed length, meter, or rhyme scheme, forming a division of a poem.
1580-90; < Italian: room, station, stopping-place (plural stanze) < Vulgar Latin *stantia, equivalent to Latin stant- (stem of stāns), present participle of stāre to stand + -ia -y3
Related forms
stanzaed, adjective
[stan-zey-ik] /stænˈzeɪ ɪk/ (Show IPA),
stanzaical, adjective
stanzaically, adverb
nonstanzaic, adjective
unstanzaic, adjective
See verse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for stanza
  • The few archaisms have disappeared, and so have all such outworn tricks as that exemplified in the stanza quoted above.
  • In stanza three, there is an example of alliteration.
  • The group writes a sixth stanza together, with pictures.
  • In tune, stanza form, and text it resembles a number of spirituals.
  • If you maintain intensity, a softly spoken stanza can be even more effective than one delivered at the top of your lungs.
British Dictionary definitions for stanza


(prosody) a fixed number of verse lines arranged in a definite metrical pattern, forming a unit of a poem
(US & Austral) a half or a quarter in a football match
Derived Forms
stanzaed, adjective
stanzaic (stænˈzeɪɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Italian: halting place, from Vulgar Latin stantia (unattested) station, from Latin stāre to stand
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 stanza

"group of rhymed verse lines," 1580s, from Italian stanza "verse of a poem," originally "standing, stopping place," from Vulgar Latin *stantia "a stanza of verse," so called from the stop at the end of it, from Latin stans (genitive stantis), present participle of stare "to stand" (see stet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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stanza in Culture

stanza definition

A group of lines of verse, usually set off from other groups by a space. The stanzas of a poem often have the same internal pattern of rhymes.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for stanza



A period, an inning, a round, a chukker, or some other division of a game or contest; canto: The Jets pulled an el foldo in the third stanza (1933+ Sports)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for stanza

a division of a poem consisting of two or more lines arranged together as a unit. More specifically, a stanza usually is a group of lines arranged together in a recurring pattern of metrical lengths and a sequence of rhymes.

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