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acrostic

[uh-kraw-stik, uh-kros-tik]
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noun
  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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adjective
  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

British Dictionary definitions for acrostical

acrostic

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
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Derived Formsacrostically, adverb

Word Origin

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 acrostical

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper