[ skan-shuh n ]
/ ˈskæn ʃən /

noun Prosody.

the metrical analysis of verse. The usual marks for scansion are ˘ for a short or unaccented syllable, ¯ or · for a long or accented syllable, ^ for a rest, | for a foot division, and ‖ for a caesura or pause.

Origin of scansion

1645–55; < Late Latin scānsiōn- (stem of scānsiō), Latin: a climbing, equivalent to scāns(us) (past participle of scandere to climb) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scansion

British Dictionary definitions for scansion


/ (ˈskænʃən) /


the analysis of the metrical structure of verseSee quantity (def. 7), stress (def. 4)

Word Origin for scansion

C17: from Latin: climbing up, from scandere to climb, scan
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 scansion



1670s, "action of marking off of verse in metric feet," from Late Latin scansionem (nominative scansio), in classical Latin, "act of climbing," noun of action from past participle stem of scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). From 1650s in English in literal sense of "action of climbing up."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper