• synonyms


[si-zhoo r-uh, -zoo r-uh, siz-yoo r-uh]
noun, plural cae·su·ras, cae·su·rae [si-zhoo r-ee, -zoo r-ee, siz-yoo r-ee] /sɪˈʒʊər i, -ˈzʊər i, sɪzˈyʊər i/.
  1. Prosody. a break, especially a sense pause, usually near the middle of a verse, and marked in scansion by a double vertical line, as in know then thyselfpresume not God to scan.
  2. Classical Prosody. a division made by the ending of a word within a foot, or sometimes at the end of a foot, especially in certain recognized places near the middle of a verse.
  3. any break, pause, or interruption.
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Also cesura.

Origin of caesura

1550–60; < Latin, equivalent to caes(us) cut (past participle of caedere) (caed- cut + -tus past participle suffix) + -ūra -ure
Related formscae·su·ral, cae·su·ric, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for caesural

Historical Examples of caesural

  • May I say that it is a little sing-songy—the lines monotonously alike in their caesural pauses and some of their other features?

    The Letters of Ambrose Bierce

    Ambrose Bierce

  • The caesural pause comes after Ector, which might allow the intrusion of the word of before king.

British Dictionary definitions for caesural


noun plural -ras or -rae (-riː)
  1. (in modern prosody) a pause, esp for sense, usually near the middle of a verse lineUsual symbol: ||
  2. (in classical prosody) a break between words within a metrical foot, usually in the third or fourth foot of the line
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Derived Formscaesural, adjective

Word Origin for caesura

C16: from Latin, literally: a cutting, from caedere to cut
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 caesural



1550s, from Latin caesura, "metrical pause," literally "a cutting," from past participle stem of caedere "to cut down" (see -cide).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper