• synonyms


noun, plural ar·ses [ahr-seez] /ˈɑr siz/.
  1. Music. the upward stroke in conducting; upbeat.Compare thesis(def 4).
  2. Prosody.
    1. the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus or stress.
    2. (less commonly) a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus.Compare thesis(def 5).
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Origin of arsis

1350–1400; Middle English: raising the voice < Latin < Greek, equivalent to ar- (stem of aírein to raise, lift) + -sis -sis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for arsis

Historical Examples of arsis

  • Of the whole number, nine begin on the full bar, eleven on the arsis.

    The Central Eskimo

    Franz Boas

  • They exhibited a more or less regular alternation of arsis and thesis.

    English Verse

    Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.

  • Examples of resolution of the first arsis are very numerous, cninga wldor El.

  • All of these unaccented syllables are reckoned together as one thesis, as against the accented syllable or arsis.

  • A strengthened thesis occurs only after the second arsis; this sub-type might therefore be designated A3b.

British Dictionary definitions for arsis


noun plural -ses (-siːz)
  1. (in classical prosody) the long syllable or part on which the ictus falls in a metrical footCompare thesis (def. 6)
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Word Origin for arsis

C18: via Late Latin from Greek, from airein to raise
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