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See more synonyms for sestina on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural ses·ti·nas, ses·ti·ne [se-stee-ney] /sɛˈsti neɪ/. Prosody.
  1. a poem of six six-line stanzas and a three-line envoy, originally without rhyme, in which each stanza repeats the end words of the lines of the first stanza, but in different order, the envoy using the six words again, three in the middle of the lines and three at the end.
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Origin of sestina

1580–90; < Italian, equivalent to sest(o) (< Latin sextus sixth) + -ina -ine2
Also called sextain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sestina

rhyme, poetry, writing, verse, lyric, epic, composition, ballad, sonnet, song, beat, creation, poesy, rime, words, ode, limerick, lines, rune, haiku

Examples from the Web for sestina

Historical Examples of sestina

  • The sestina is composed of six 6-line stanzas and a final 3-line stanza.

    The Principles of English Versification

    Paull Franklin Baum

  • Naught else have I afforded you, madame, save very anciently a Sestina.


    James Branch Cabell

  • From Italy have come, besides the ottava rima and the sonnet, two other metrical forms, the sestina and the terza rima.

  • The common form of the sestina has six stanzas of six lines each, with a tercet at the end.

    English Verse

    Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.

  • That it was used and admired by Dante and Petrarch, alone gives the sestina a royal precedence over all of the other forms.

British Dictionary definitions for sestina


  1. an elaborate verse form of Italian origin, normally unrhymed, consisting of six stanzas of six lines each and a concluding tercet. The six final words of the lines in the first stanza are repeated in a different order in each of the remaining five stanzas and also in the concluding tercetAlso called: sextain
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Word Origin for sestina

C19: from Italian, from sesto sixth, from Latin sextus
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 sestina


1797, from Italian, "poem of six-lined stanzas," from sesto "sixth," from Latin sextus (see six). Invented by 12c. Provençal troubadour Arnaut Daniel. The line endings of the first stanza are repeated in different order in the rest, and in an envoi.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper