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[stroh-fee] /ˈstroʊ fi/
the part of an ancient Greek choral ode sung by the chorus when moving from right to left.
the movement performed by the chorus during the singing of this part.
the first of the three series of lines forming the divisions of each section of a Pindaric ode.
(in modern poetry) any separate section or extended movement in a poem, distinguished from a stanza in that it does not follow a regularly repeated pattern.
1595-1605; < Greek strophḗ a twist, turning about, akin to stréphein to turn; see strepto-
3. See verse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for strophe
  • The formation of the strophe, and devices such as the refrain, are less important.
  • Take one old derelict singing a strophe of a religious anthem in a raspy voice.
British Dictionary definitions for strophe


noun (prosody)
(in ancient Greek drama)
  1. the first of two movements made by a chorus during the performance of a choral ode
  2. the first part of a choral ode sung during this movement
(in classical verse) the first division of the threefold structure of a Pindaric ode
the first of two metrical systems used alternately within a poem
See also antistrophe, epode
Word Origin
C17: from Greek: a verse, literally: a turning, from strephein to twist
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 strophe

c.1600, from Greek strophe "stanza," originally "a turning," in reference to the section of an ode sung by the chorus while turning in one direction, from strephein "to turn," from PIE *strebh- "to wind, turn" (cf. Greek strophaligs "whirl, whirlwind," streblos "twisted").

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

in poetry, a group of verses that form a distinct unit within a poem. The term is sometimes used as a synonym for stanza, usually in reference to a Pindaric ode or to a poem that does not have a regular metre and rhyme pattern, such as free verse. In ancient Greek drama the strophe was the first part of a choral ode that was performed by the chorus while it moved from one side of the stage to the other. The strophe was followed by an antistrophe of the same metrical structure (performed while the chorus reversed its movement) and then by an epode of different structure that was chanted as the chorus stood still.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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