American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The short or unaccented part of a metrical foot, especially in quantitative verse.
- n. The accented or long part of a metrical foot, especially in accentual verse.
- n. Music The upbeat or unaccented part of a measure.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In prosody: Originally, the metrically unaccented part of a foot, as opposed to the thesis or part which receives the ictus or metrical stress.
- n. In prevalent modern usage, that part of a foot which bears the ictus or metrical accent, as opposed to the metrically unaccented part, called the thesis. According to the original Greek usage, arsis denoted the raising of the foot in dancing, or of the hand in beating time, and therefore the unaccented part of the metrical foot, and thesis the fall of the foot or of the hand in dancing or beating time, and therefore the accented part of the prosodial foot. Latin writers show great confusion in the application of these terms, sometimes employing them in conformity with Greek usage, sometimes interchanging their meaning, sometimes assigning still other meanings to them. Some modern writers have employed them with their original Greek significations, as given above under : but the meanings given under , and believed to be supported by the Latin writers, are those generally adopted at the present time.
- n. In physiol. acoustics, a periodical increase in the intensity of a sound, producing a rhythmical effect.
- n. The stronger part of a musical measure or a metrical foot.
- n. music The elevation of the hand, or that part of the bar at which it is raised, in beating time; the weak or unaccented part of the bar, opposed to the thesis.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. That part of a foot where the
ictusis put, or which is distinguished from the rest (known as the thesis) of the foot by a greater stress of voice.
- n. That elevation of voice now called
metrical accentuation, or the rhythmic accent.
- n. (Mus.) The elevation of the hand, or that part of the bar at which it is raised, in beating time; the weak or unaccented part of the bar; -- opposed to
- Ancient Greek ἄρσις (ársis, "lifting"), from αἴρω (aírō, "I lift"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, raising of the voice, from Late Latin, raising of the voice, accented part of a metrical foot, from Greek, raising of the foot (marking the upbeat), the unaccented part of a metrical foot, from aeirein, to lift; see wer-1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“While from an objective view-point, the rhythm of the two elements pulsates evenly on the same level, our valuation articulates, as it were, iambic periods, with war as thesis, and peace as arsis.”
“Nam in unaquaque parte oratione arsis et thesis sunt, non in ordine syllabarum, sed in pronuntiatione: velut in hac parte _natura_, ut quando dico _natu_ elevatur vox, et est arsis intus; quando vero sequitur _ra_ vox deponitur, et est thesis deforis.”
“The syllable which receives the ictus is called the thesis; the rest of the foot is called the arsis.”
“The hiatus is commonest in monosyllabic words, or words ending in a short syllable followed by _m_, making the first syllable of an arsis resolved into two shorts.”
“Their general theory of rhythm, according to which it consists in the succession of arsis and thesis, i. e., one part leading forward and a second part marking a point of arrival and of provisional or final rest, is substantially the same as Riemann's (see his "System der musikalischen Rhythmik und Metrik", Leipzig, 1903), and is becoming more and more accepted.”
“But their special feature, which consists in placing the word accent by preference on the arsis, has not found much favour with musicians generally.”
“Following the law of binary movement (the alternation of arsis and thesis), the accent is made to shorten long syllables and to lengthen short ones, in such wise that the verses, while using the external form of iambic dimeters, are purely rhythmic.”
“Camp and king's antechamber and embassage and battle made the arsis and thesis of his poetry, and his poems are a picture of Edward III's age, accurate as if a king's pageant passing flung shadow in a stream along whose bank it marched.”
“The final _s_ is generally elided before a consonant when in the thesis of the foot, but often remains in the arsis (_e.g. plenu 'fidei, Isque dies_).”
“/'And YET' /is a complete 'iambus'; but 'anyet' is, like 'spirit', a dibrach u u, trocheized, however, by the 'arsis' or first accent damping, though not extinguishing, the second.”
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