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

  • n. The study of the metrical structure of verse.
  • n. A particular system of versification.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The study of rhythm, intonation, stress, and related attributes in speech.
  • n. The study of poetic meter; the patterns of sounds and rhythms in verse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That part of grammar which treats of the quantity of syllables, of accent, and of the laws of versification or metrical composition.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The science of the quantity of syllables and of pronunciation as affecting versification; in a wider sense, metrics, or the elements of metrics, considered as a part of grammar (see metrics, 2).

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

  • n. (prosody) a system of versification
  • n. the study of poetic meter and the art of versification
  • n. the patterns of stress and intonation in a language


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

Middle English prosodie, from Latin prosōdia, accent, from Greek prosōidiā, song sung to music, accent : pros-, pros- + ōidē, song; see ode.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French prosodie, from Latin prosōdia, from Ancient Greek προσῳδία (prosōidía, "song sung to music; pronunciation of syllable"), from πρός (pros, "to") + ᾠδή (ōidē, "song").


  • It seems like this whole discussion thread needs a lesson in prosody, mainly because everyone is getting them wrong.

    Barack’s Prosody Problem: A Guest Post - Freakonomics Blog -

  • English prosody is regular and veiled, its natural beauties all melancholy; the clouds have shaped its hues, and the sound of waves its modulations.

    Selections from _Corinne_

  • And then, I felt harassed teaching a seminar in prosody — teaching form — at the graduate school level to unwilling, even surly students who were only taking it because they needed the credit.

    The Art of Living

  • ELISION, the omission or crowding out of unstressed words or unaccented syllables to make the metre smoother; a term belonging to classical prosody and inappropriate in English prosody except where syllable-counting verse is concerned.

    The Principles of English Versification

  • QUANTITY, the length of a syllable; established by convention in classical prosody; in English prosody very uncertain but always present.

    The Principles of English Versification

  • SPONDEE, a classical prosody a foot of two long syllables; in English prosody a foot of two 'long' or accented or stressed words or syllables,

    The Principles of English Versification

  • Verse such as this would permit of every rhythmical variation known in English prosody, and through the appeal of its rhythm would offer the dramatist opportunities for emotional effect that prose would not allow him; but at the same time it could be spoken with entire naturalness by actors as ultra-modern as Mme. Nazimova.

    The Theory of the Theatre

  • Chinese prosody is a very difficult thing for an Occidental to understand.

    Fir-Flower Tablets: Poems Translated From the Chinese

  • His prosody is based upon the numbers five and seven, a

    Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan

  • When I began the study of Latin prosody, I devised and explained to my professor a system of signs indicating the different meters and quantities.

    The Story of My Life


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  • The description of rhythm, loudness, pitch, and tempo. It is often used as a synonym for suprasegmentals, although its meaning is narrower: it only refers to the features mentioned above.

    October 14, 2009