Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A pause in a line of verse dictated by sense or natural speech rhythm rather than by metrics.
  • noun A pause or interruption, as in conversation.
  • noun In Latin and Greek prosody, a break in a line caused by the ending of a word within a foot, especially when this coincides with a sense division.
  • noun Music A pause or breathing at a point of rhythmic division in a melody.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun etc. See cesura, cesural, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A metrical break in a verse, occurring in the middle of a foot and commonly near the middle of the verse; a sense pause in the middle of a foot. Also, a long syllable on which the cæsural accent rests, or which is used as a foot.
  • noun a pause or interruption (as in a conversation).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A pause or interruption in a poem, music, building or other work of art.
  • noun In Classical prosody, using two words to divide a metrical foot.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a break or pause (usually for sense) in the middle of a verse line
  • noun a pause or interruption (as in a conversation)

Etymologies

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

[Latin caesūra, a cutting, from caesus, past participle of caedere, to cut off; see kaə-id- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin caesūra ("cutting, hewing"), from caesus, perfect passive participle of caedō ("I cut down, hew").

Examples

Comments

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  • 1: in modern prosody : a usually rhetorical break in the flow of sound in the middle of a line of verse

    2: Greek & Latin prosody : a break in the flow of sound in a verse caused by the ending of a word within a foot

    3: break, interruption

    4: a pause marking a rhythmic point of division in a melody

    "The words are normal Law & Order words, but you wouldn't know it: Goldblum turns dialogue inside-out with stylized speech and a range of pregnant pauses, looping his eyes around the room with each caesura as if tracking an imagined hummingbird."

    --Slate

    June 30, 2009