Is it ensure, insure, or assure?


[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 stanzas
  • Let me do a couple little stanzas here and then you come in at some point.
  • The irregular verse of the opening is replaced by rhymed, rhythmical stanzas, and the familiar world is illuminated by myth.
  • The author is able to tell the tale in twenty-eight stanzas of thirteen lines.
  • For his longer poems, he employs exclusively the decasyllabic line, arranged in stanzas of four or six.
  • New stanzas are welcomed, and local adaptations, irrelevant or facetious.
  • Not only the eight rime-endings, but the actual words that compose them, are the same in each of the eight stanzas.
  • It is written in four-lined stanzas, alternately rimed.
  • Drummond's work is not characterised by the polished perfection of individual lines or stanzas.
  • The stanzas in the draft are not in order, but you can see that some of the them are numbered.
  • It then takes a minute to note the adjectives that appear in both stanzas.
British Dictionary definitions for stanzas


(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 stanzas



"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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stanzas 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 stanzas

stand up and be counted

verb phrase

To announce and be accountable for one's convictions, opinions, etc; not be afraid to speak up: Maybe a lot agree with you, but they won't stand up and be counted (1900s+)

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 stanzas


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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