Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The division of a prose piece into lines of fixed length or into lines whose lengths correspond to the natural divisions of sense, as in manuscripts written before the adoption of punctuation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The measurement of books in terms of how many lines of text they contain.
  • n. The division of the text of a book into lines; a method of writing manuscripts used before punctuation was adopted.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Measurement of books by the number of lines which they contain.
  • n. Division of the text of a book into lines; especially, the division of the text of books into lines accommodated to the sense, -- a method of writing manuscripts used before punctuation was adopted.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In paleography, measurement of manuscripts by lines of fixed or average length; also, an edition or a list containing or stating such measurement.

Etymologies

Greek stikhos, stich; see steigh- in Indo-European roots + -metry.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek στίχος (stikhos, "a row or file of soldiers”; “a line of poetry”, “a verse") +‎ -metry. (Wiktionary)

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