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[pros-uh-dee] /ˈprɒs ə di/
the science or study of poetic meters and versification.
a particular or distinctive system of metrics and versification:
Milton's prosody.
Linguistics. the stress and intonation patterns of an utterance.
Origin of prosody
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin prosōdia < Greek prosōidía tone or accent, modulation of voice, song sung to music, equivalent to prós toward + ōid(ḗ) ode + -ia -y3
Related forms
[pruh-sod-ik] /prəˈsɒd ɪk/ (Show IPA),
prosodical, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prosody
Historical Examples
  • You are under no earthly obligation to Messrs. Syntax and prosody.

    The Emigrants Of Ahadarra William Carleton
  • prosody, the song of angels, and no earthly or inglorious theme.

  • Besides, there are a great many lines to be considered in the second part of prosody, which treats of Versification.

  • As there is in Arithmetic a long division and a short division, so in prosody is Quantity considered as long or short.

  • However—the prosody and Serpent lectures are just finishing off and then I shall come to see you in the morning!

    Hortus Inclusus John Ruskin
  • prosody deals with metre; and with accent, quantity and the articulate sounds, as subordinate to metre.

    The English Language Robert Gordon Latham
  • It is common for those that deliver the grammar of modern languages, to omit the prosody.

  • But we are not yet come to the prosody; nor shall we arrive there very soon unless we get on with the Syntax.

    The Comic Latin Grammar Percival Leigh
  • As Comparative Anatomy teaches what the sound of a cod-fish is; so prosody teaches what is the sound of syllables.

    The Comic Latin Grammar Percival Leigh
  • There is a river in Macedon and a river in Monmouth: in like manner there are positions in dancing and positions in prosody.

    The Comic Latin Grammar Percival Leigh
British Dictionary definitions for prosody


the study of poetic metre and of the art of versification, including rhyme, stanzaic forms, and the quantity and stress of syllables
a system of versification
the patterns of stress and intonation in a language
Derived Forms
prosodic (prəˈsɒdɪk) adjective
prosodist, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin prosōdia accent of a syllable, from Greek prosōidia song set to music, from pros towards + ōidē, from aoidē song; see ode
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 prosody

late 15c., from Latin prosodia "accent of a syllable," from Greek prosoidia "song sung to music," also "accent, modulation," literally "a singing in addition to," from pros "to, forward, near" + oide "song, poem" (see ode). Related: Prosodiacal; prosodist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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