• synonyms


[en-jam-muh nt, -jamb-]
noun, plural en·jamb·ments [en-jam-muh nts, -jamb-] /ɛnˈdʒæm mənts, -ˈdʒæmb-/. Prosody.
  1. the running on of the thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a syntactical break.
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Origin of enjambment

1830–40; < French enjambement, equivalent to enjamb(er) to stride over, project, encroach (en- en-1 + -jamber, derivative of jambe leg; see jamb1) + -ment -ment
Related formsen·jambed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for enjambment

Historical Examples

  • Now Bartels points out that in Layamons verse there is no enjambment and no beginning of a clause in the middle of a half-line.

    Selections from Early Middle English 1130-1250: Part II: Notes


  • The piece is vigorous, if not quite Clevelandish in the presence of some enjambment, and the absence of extravagant conceit.

  • Enjambment, en-jamb′ment, n. in verse, the continuation of a sentence beyond the end of the line.

British Dictionary definitions for enjambment



  1. prosody the running over of a sentence from one line of verse into the next
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Derived Formsenjambed, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from French, literally: a straddling, from enjamber to straddle, from en- 1 + jambe leg; see jamb
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 enjambment


also enjambement, 1837, from French enjambement or from enjamb (c.1600), from French enjamber "to stride over," from en- (see en- (1)) + jambe "leg" (see jamb).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper