American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A Latin verse used only in comedy and consisting of seven feet, especially a catalectic iambic or trochaic tetrameter.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Latin pros., a verse consisting of seven feet. The name is used especially for the trochaic tetrameter catalectic (versus quadratus), which in the older Latin writers admits a spondee or anapest in the first, third, and fifth, as well as in the second, fourth, and sixth places, and for the iambic tetrameter catalectic.
- Latin septēnārius, of seven, from septēnī, seven each, from septem, seven; see septennial. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“One of the oldest lines of modern English verse is the so-called septenary (septenarius), having had a nearly continuous tradition from the twelfth-century Poema Morale down (in its divided form) to the present.”
“Tyndarus is in mortal terror lest the trick which he has played on his master, Hegio, may be discovered, and he be consigned to work in chains in the quarries, the verse is the trochaic septenarius.”
“The English and Scottish popular ballads are in various simple stanza forms, the commonest of all being the old _septenarius_ or "fourteener," arranged in a four-lined stanza of alternate eights and sixes, thus:”
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