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  1. the part of an ancient Greek choral ode sung by the chorus when moving from right to left.
  2. the movement performed by the chorus during the singing of this part.
  3. the first of the three series of lines forming the divisions of each section of a Pindaric ode.
  4. (in modern poetry) any separate section or extended movement in a poem, distinguished from a stanza in that it does not follow a regularly repeated pattern.
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Origin of strophe

1595–1605; < Greek strophḗ a twist, turning about, akin to stréphein to turn; see strepto-

Synonyms for strophe

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

Related Words for strophe

verse, refrain, strophe, division, stave

Examples from the Web for strophe

Historical Examples of strophe

  • Canzone, in which Dante describes the person of Beatrice, Strophe third.

    The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4

    Lord Byron

  • Balassa was also the inventor of the strophe which goes by his name.

  • His mind see-sawed in strophe and antistrophe: "You can't move!"

    Five Tales

    John Galsworthy

  • (Strophe) Romulus and Remus, nice pair of schemers, How does your city grow?


    Talbot Baines Reed

  • He called upon her to save their little band by singing a strophe.

    Browning's Heroines

    Ethel Colburn Mayne

British Dictionary definitions for strophe


noun prosody
  1. (in ancient Greek drama)
    1. the first of two movements made by a chorus during the performance of a choral ode
    2. the first part of a choral ode sung during this movement
  2. (in classical verse) the first division of the threefold structure of a Pindaric ode
  3. the first of two metrical systems used alternately within a poem
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See also antistrophe, epode

Word Origin for strophe

C17: from Greek: a verse, literally: a turning, from strephein to twist
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 strophe


c.1600, from Greek strophe "stanza," originally "a turning," in reference to the section of an ode sung by the chorus while turning in one direction, from strephein "to turn," from PIE *strebh- "to wind, turn" (cf. Greek strophaligs "whirl, whirlwind," streblos "twisted").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper