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.
Stanza and strophe are often used interchangeably, but stanza is more properly used for modern rhyming poetry based on stressed versus unstressed syllables, and strophe is more properly used for ancient quantitative poetry based on the duration of syllables, especially in Greek drama. In modern poetry, a strophe is any separate section or extended movement in a poem, distinguished from a stanza in that it does not follow a regularly repeated scheme.
- stanzaed, adjective
- stan·za·ic [stan-zey-ik], /stænˈzeɪ ɪk/, stan·za·i·cal, adjective
- stan·za·i·cal·ly, adverb
- non·stan·za·ic, adjective
- un·stan·za·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use stanza in a sentence
You can see it if you substitute two words in the final stanza of John Donne’s most famous poem—one I’ve always thought of as a meditation of sorts, and a passage I suspect we will all recognize.
The short film featured the singer delivering stanzas from British-Somali poet Warsan Shire, and celebrity cameos from the likes of Zendaya and Serena Williams.
Finally, just before the tenth stanza, a crestfallen Alvarado whispered that he was done.Boxers, Be Brave and Quit Before Your Brain Turns to Mush | Gordon Marino | October 25, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
And writers seem to get it a lot, the relationship between words and page and phrase and paragraph, or stanza.The Writer and the Potter: Edmund De Waal on his New York Debut | Iain Millar | September 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
But on January 28, on a typed draft, the final stanza is crossed out and replaced, with no hope for spring remaining.Sylvia Plath’s Darkest Sea: What an Unveiled Draft Poem Reveals | Olivia Cole | May 3, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The final stanza was the most fitting tribute I could imagine for my father.
E-book use on the iPhone exploded, with over a million downloads of the stanza application alone.
No further hints need be offered except perhaps in regard to the last ten lines of the last stanza.Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
In order to shew the riming more clearly, I have 'set back' the 3rd, 6th, and 7th lines of each stanza.Chaucer's Works, Volume 1 (of 7) -- Romaunt of the Rose; Minor Poems | Geoffrey Chaucer
Evidently this disclaimer is a pretended one; the preceding stanza and ll.Chaucer's Works, Volume 1 (of 7) -- Romaunt of the Rose; Minor Poems | Geoffrey Chaucer
This stanza reproduces in the sixth line the last word of the first, and in the seventh the last word of the fourth.Frdric Mistral | Charles Alfred Downer
Like Mirèio, the poem is divided into twelve cantos, and the form of stanza employed is the same.Frdric Mistral | Charles Alfred Downer
British Dictionary definitions for stanza
prosody a fixed number of verse lines arranged in a definite metrical pattern, forming a unit of a poem
US and Australian a half or a quarter in a football match
- stanzaed, adjective
- stanzaic (stænˈzeɪɪk), adjective
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
Cultural definitions for stanza
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.