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anacrusis

[an-uh-kroo-sis]
noun, plural an·a·cru·ses [an-uh-kroo-seez] /ˌæn əˈkru siz/.
  1. Prosody. an unstressed syllable or syllable group that begins a line of verse but is not counted as part of the first foot.
  2. Music. the note or notes preceding a downbeat; upbeat.
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Origin of anacrusis

1825–35; < Latin < Greek anákrousis, equivalent to anakroú(ein) to strike up, push back (ana- ana- + kroúein to strike, push) + -sis -sis
Related formsan·a·crus·tic [an-uh-kruhs-tik] /ˌæn əˈkrʌs tɪk/, adjectivean·a·crus·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for anacrustic

anacrusis

noun plural -ses (-siːz)
  1. prosody one or more unstressed syllables at the beginning of a line of verse
  2. music
    1. an unstressed note or group of notes immediately preceding the strong first beat of the first bar
    2. another word for upbeat
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Derived Formsanacrustic (ˌænəˈkrʌstɪk), adjective

Word Origin for anacrusis

C19: from Greek anakrousis prelude, from anakrouein to strike up, from ana- + krouein to strike
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 anacrustic

anacrusis

n.

"unstressed syllable at the beginning of a verse," 1833, Latinized from Greek anakrousis "a pushing back," of a ship, "backing water," from anakrouein "to push back, stop short, check," from ana- "back" (see ana-) + krouein "to strike," from PIE *kreue- (2) "to push, strike" (cf. Russian krusit, Lithuanian krusu "to smash, shatter," Old Church Slavonic kruchu "piece, bit of food," Old English hreowian "feel pain or sorrow," Old Norse hryggja "make sad").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper