acrostic

[ uh-kraw-stik, uh-kros-tik ]
/ əˈkrɔ stɪk, əˈkrɒs tɪk /

noun

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.

adjective

Also a·cros·ti·cal. of, like, or forming an acrostic.

Nearby words

  1. acrospire,
  2. acrospore,
  3. across,
  4. across the board,
  5. across-the-board,
  6. acroter,
  7. acroterion,
  8. acroterium,
  9. acrotic,
  10. acrotism

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for acrostic


British Dictionary definitions for acrostic

acrostic

/ (əˈkrɒstɪk) /

noun

  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
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

acrostic

n.

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper