[ an-uh-kroo-sis ]
/ ˌæn əˈkru sɪs /

noun, plural an·a·cru·ses [an-uh-kroo-seez] /ˌæn əˈkru siz/.

Prosody. an unstressed syllable or syllable group that begins a line of verse but is not counted as part of the first foot.
Music. the note or notes preceding a downbeat; upbeat.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for anacrustic


/ (ˌænəˈkruːsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-siːz)

prosody one or more unstressed syllables at the beginning of a line of verse
  1. an unstressed note or group of notes immediately preceding the strong first beat of the first bar
  2. another word for upbeat
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



"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").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper