- Prosody. a poem, properly expressive of a single, complete thought, idea, or sentiment, of 14 lines, usually in iambic pentameter, with rhymes arranged according to one of certain definite schemes, being in the strict or Italian form divided into a major group of 8 lines (the octave) followed by a minor group of 6 lines (the sestet), and in a common English form into 3 quatrains followed by a couplet.
- Archaic. to compose sonnets.
- Older Use. to celebrate in a sonnet or sonnets.
Origin of sonnet
Examples from the Web for sonnet
Is it possible to follow up a school-shooting episode with lines from Sonnet 116?Television’s Finest Schlock: The ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Episode ‘One One Six’ Is So Damn Shakespearean
September 18, 2013
The new book celebrates the sonnet's uneven return to grace.The Best of Brit Lit
June 8, 2010
I must needs try my new-fledged pinions in sonnet, elogy, and madrigal.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
Shakespeare told us the truth about himself when he wrote in sonnet 142, "Love is my sin."
Take any sonnet at haphazard, and you will hear the rage of his desire.
It contrasts "foe and friend," just as the sonnet contrasts "love and hate."
In Sonnet 136 he prays her to allow him to be one of her lovers.
- a verse form of Italian origin consisting of 14 lines in iambic pentameter with rhymes arranged according to a fixed scheme, usually divided either into octave and sestet or, in the English form, into three quatrains and a couplet
- (intr) to compose sonnets
- (tr) to celebrate in a sonnet
Word Origin and History for sonnet
1557 (in title of Surrey's poems), from Middle French sonnet (1540s) or directly from Italian sonetto, literally "little song," from Old Provençal sonet "song," diminutive of son "song, sound," from Latin sonus "sound" (see sound (n.1)).
Originally in English also "any short lyric poem;" precise meaning is from Italian, where Petrarch (14c.) developed a scheme of an eight-line stanza (rhymed abba abba) followed by a six-line stanza (cdecde, the Italian sestet, or cdcdcd, the Sicilian sestet). Shakespeare developed the English Sonnet for his rhyme-poor native tongue: three Sicilian quatrains followed by a heroic couplet (ababcdcdefefgg). The first stanza sets a situation or problem, and the second comments on it or resolves it.