• synonyms

terza rima

[tert-suh ree-muh; Italian ter-tsah ree-mah]
noun Prosody.
  1. an Italian form of iambic verse consisting of eleven-syllable lines arranged in tercets, the middle line of each tercet rhyming with the first and last lines of the following tercet.
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Origin of terza rima

1810–20; < Italian: third rhyme
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for terza rima

Historical Examples

  • Certain other varieties of the terza-rima, although found in recent poets, need only be briefly noticed here.

    A History of English Versification

    Jakob Schipper

  • The rhyme-system of the terza-rima is a b a b c b c d c, &c.

British Dictionary definitions for terza rima

terza rima

noun plural terze rime (ˈtɛətseɪ ˈriːmeɪ)
  1. a verse form of Italian origin consisting of a series of tercets in which the middle line of one tercet rhymes with the first and third lines of the next
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Word Origin

C19: from Italian, literally: third rhyme
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 terza rima


1819, Italian, literally "third rhyme." Dante's measure: a-b-a-b-c-b-c-d-c-, etc.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper