pertaining to Sappho or to certain meters or a form of strophe or stanza used by or named after her.


a Sapphic verse.

Origin of Sapphic

1495–1505; < Latin sapphicus < Greek sapphikós, equivalent to Sapph(ṓ) Sappho + -ikos -ic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sapphic

homosexual, homoerotic, homophile

Examples from the Web for sapphic

Contemporary Examples of sapphic

Historical Examples of sapphic

  • He forgot all about Sappho, but the Sapphic vibrations went on increasingly.

    Yellowstone Nights

    Herbert Quick

  • The influence of the Sapphic legend, I fancy, not alone because of the sweet inversion.

    Painted Veils

    James Huneker

  • Its essence is flavored with the day and lyric trail of the Sapphic students.

    I, Mary MacLane

    Mary MacLane

  • Erinna and Damophyla study together the composition of Sapphic metres.

    Greek Women

    Mitchell Carroll

  • Quantitative measures, like the Sapphic and Hexameter, were composed accentually.

British Dictionary definitions for sapphic



prosody denoting a metre associated with Sappho, consisting generally of a trochaic pentameter line with a dactyl in the third foot
of or relating to Sappho or her poetry


prosody a verse, line, or stanza written in the Sapphic form
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 sapphic



c.1500, "of or pertaining to Sappho," from French saphique, from Latin Sapphicus, from Greek Sapphikos "of Sappho," in reference to Sappho, poetess of the isle of Lesbos c.600 B.C.E. Especially in reference to her characteristic meter; sense of "pertaining to sexual relations between women" is from 1890s (cf. lesbian).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper