[ hem-i-stik ]
/ ˈhɛm ɪˌstɪk /

noun Prosody.

the exact or approximate half of a stich, or poetic verse or line, especially as divided by a caesura or the like.
an incomplete line, or a line of less than the usual length.

Origin of hemistich

1565–75; < Late Latin hēmistichium < Greek hēmistíchion a half-verse. See hemi-, stich1
Related formshe·mis·ti·chal [huh-mis-ti-kuh l, hem-i-stik-uh l] /həˈmɪs tɪ kəl, ˈhɛm ɪˌstɪk əl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hemistich

British Dictionary definitions for hemistich


/ (ˈhɛmɪˌstɪk) /


prosody a half line of verse
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 hemistich



"half a poetic line," 1570s, from Middle French hémistiche, from Latin hemistichium, from Greek hemistikhion "half-line, half-verse," from hemi- "half" (see hemi-) + stikhos "row, line of verse" (see stair).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper