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

  • n. A verse form of Italian origin consisting of tercets of 10 or 11 syllables with the middle line rhyming with the first and third lines of the following tercet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of poem with verses of three lines and a rhyme scheme: aba bcb cdc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A peculiar and complicated system of versification, borrowed by the early Italian poets from the Troubadours.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A form of verse in iambic rhythm used by the early Italian poets.

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

  • n. a verse form with a rhyme scheme: aba bcb cdc, etc.


Italian : terza, feminine of terzo, third + rima, rhyme.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian, meaning third rhyme. (Wiktionary)


  • I have endured poets, particularly the pretentious variety, gush forth for up to twenty minutes on a wide Saragasso Sea of subjects in a rambling introduction: from Fraser's Golden Bough, to a blow-by-blow description of last week's edition of Deal or No Deal no, really; I mean it, onto a cringe-worthy account of their dismissal for incompetence and then a thorough exposition of what their poem is about and how clever it is that it is written in terza rima.

    Archive 2010-05-01


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