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noun Prosody.
  1. an arrangement of a certain number of lines, usually four or more, sometimes having a fixed length, meter, or rhyme scheme, forming a division of a poem.

Origin of stanza

1580–90; < Italian: room, station, stopping-place (plural stanze) < Vulgar Latin *stantia, equivalent to Latin stant- (stem of stāns), present participle of stāre to stand + -ia -y3
Related formsstan·zaed, adjectivestan·za·ic [stan-zey-ik] /stænˈzeɪ ɪk/, stan·za·i·cal, adjectivestan·za·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·stan·za·ic, adjectiveun·stan·za·ic, adjective

Synonyms for stanza

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See verse. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for stanza

verse, refrain, strophe, division, stave

Examples from the Web for stanza

Contemporary Examples of stanza

Historical Examples of stanza

  • A stanza, the final one of that masterpiece, has been preserved.

  • In this stanza Rhuvawn is celebrated as pious, valiant, and hospitable.

    Y Gododin


  • “Nodi,” may also have reference to “nod” in the third line of the stanza.

    Y Gododin


  • The eagle was probably the armorial badge of the hero of this stanza.

    Y Gododin


  • That stanza, as it stands above, does not occur in any of the extant quasi-originals.

    Sir Walter Scott

    George Saintsbury

British Dictionary definitions for stanza


  1. prosody a fixed number of verse lines arranged in a definite metrical pattern, forming a unit of a poem
  2. US and Australian a half or a quarter in a football match
Derived Formsstanzaed, adjectivestanzaic (stænˈzeɪɪk), adjective

Word Origin for stanza

C16: from Italian: halting place, from Vulgar Latin stantia (unattested) station, from Latin stāre to stand
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 stanza

"group of rhymed verse lines," 1580s, from Italian stanza "verse of a poem," originally "standing, stopping place," from Vulgar Latin *stantia "a stanza of verse," so called from the stop at the end of it, from Latin stans (genitive stantis), present participle of stare "to stand" (see stet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stanza in Culture


A group of lines of verse, usually set off from other groups by a space. The stanzas of a poem often have the same internal pattern of rhymes.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.