• synonyms


[uh-kraw-stik, uh-kros-tik]
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  1. a series of lines or verses in which the first, last, or other particular letters when taken in order spell out a word, phrase, etc.
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  1. Also a·cros·ti·cal. of, like, or forming an acrostic.
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Origin of acrostic

1580–90; < Greek akrostichís, equivalent to akro- acro- + stích(os) stich1 + -is noun suffix
Related formsa·cros·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for acrostic

phrase, cipher, composition, acronym, wordplay

Examples from the Web for acrostic

Historical Examples of acrostic

  • Sense or nonsense, just as you please, so as it shows us what an acrostic is.

    Tip Lewis and His Lamp


  • In an acrostic the beginnings of the lines are arranged in order.

  • The answer to the acrostic is “mantrap”; the missing rhyme is “mishap.”

  • But then in the hands of Swinburne an acrostic would cease to be artificial.

  • But there is no more trace of acrostic structure in x. till ver.

British Dictionary definitions for acrostic


    1. a number of lines of writing, such as a poem, certain letters of which form a word, proverb, etc. A single acrostic is formed by the initial letters of the lines, a double acrostic by the initial and final letters, and a triple acrostic by the initial, middle, and final letters
    2. the word, proverb, etc, so formed
    3. (as modifier)an acrostic sonnet
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Derived Formsacrostically, adverb

Word Origin for acrostic

C16: via French from Greek akrostikhis, from acro- + stikhos line of verse, stich
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

Word Origin and History for acrostic


short poem in which the initial letters of the lines, taken in order, spell a word or phrase, 1580s, from Medieval Latin acrostichis, from Greek akrostikhis, from akros "at the end, outermost" (see acrid) + stikhos "line of verse," literally "row" (see stair).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper