Definitions

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

  • adjective Lacking one or more syllables, especially in the final foot. Used of verse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In prosody: Wanting part of the last foot: as, a catalectic line or verse: opposed to acatalectic.
  • noun A catalectic verse.

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

  • adjective (Pros.) Wanting a syllable at the end, or terminating in an imperfect foot.
  • adjective (Photog. & Chem.) Incomplete; partial; not affecting the whole of a substance.

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

  • adjective poetry Said of a line with incomplete meter, lacking a syllable at the end or ending with an incomplete foot.
  • adjective incomplete; partial; not affecting the whole of a substance

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

  • adjective (verse) metrically incomplete; especially lacking one or more syllables in the final metrical foot
  • noun (prosody) a line of verse that lacks a syllable in the last metrical foot

Etymologies

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

[Late Latin catalēcticus, from Greek katalēktikos, from katalēgein, to leave off : kata-, intensive pref.; see cata– + lēgein, to cease, terminate; see slēg- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin catalecticus, from Ancient Greek καταληκτικός (katalēktikos, "leaving off, incomplete") from κατά (kata, "down, wholly") + ληκτικός (lēktikos, "causing to stop")

Examples

Comments

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  • A catalectic tetrameter of iambs marching.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 3

    December 30, 2006