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stichomythia

[ stik-uh-mith-ee-uh ]
/ ˌstɪk əˈmɪθ i ə /
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noun

dramatic dialogue, as in a Greek play, characterized by brief exchanges between two characters, each of whom usually speaks in one line of verse during a scene of intense emotion or strong argumentation.

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Also sti·chom·y·thy [sti-kom-uh-thee]. /stɪˈkɒm ə θi/.

Origin of stichomythia

1860–65; <Greek stichomȳthía, equivalent to stícho(s) (see stich1) + -mȳthia (mŷth(os) speech, story + -ia-ia)
stich·o·myth·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
  • The dreary tirades of Polyphontes and Merope, and their snip-snap stichomythia, read equally ill in English.

    Matthew Arnold|George Saintsbury
  • Phillis and Amyntas reappear and carry on a conversation, not unamiably, in a sort of hexametrical stichomythia.

British Dictionary definitions for stichomythia

stichomythia

stichomythy (stɪˈkɒmɪθɪ)

/ (ˌstɪkəʊˈmɪθɪə) /

noun

a form of dialogue originating in Greek drama in which single lines are uttered by alternate speakers
stichomythic, adjective
C19: from Greek stikhomuthein to speak alternate lines, from stikhos line + muthos speech; see myth
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
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