Dictionary > Verse


1. A line consisting of a certain number of metrical feet (see foot, 9) disposed according to metrical rules.
Verses are of various kinds, as hexameter, pentameter, tetrameter, etc, according to the number of feet in each. A verse of twelve syllables is called an Alexandrine. Two or more verses form a stanza or strophe.
2. Metrical arrangement and language; that which is composed in metrical form; versification; poetry. Such prompt eloquence Flowed from their lips in prose or numerous verse. (milton) Virtue was taught in verse. (prior) Verse embalms virtue. (Donne)
3. A short division of any composition. Specifically:
A stanza; a stave; as, a hymn of four verses.
Although this use of verse is common, it is objectionable, because not always distinguishable from the stricter use in the sense of a line.
One of the short divisions of the chapters in the old and new testaments.
The author of the division of the old testament into verses is not ascertained. The new Testament was divided into verses by robert Stephens Estienne, a french printer. This arrangement appeared for the first time in an edition printed at geneva, in 1551. A portion of an anthem to be performed by a single voice to each part.
4. A piece of poetry. This verse be thine. blank verse, poetry in which the lines do not end in rhymes. Heroic verse. See Heroic.
Origin: OE. Vers, AS. Fers, L. Versus a line in writing, and, in poetry, a verse, from vertere, versum, to turn, to turn round; akin to E. Worth to become: cf. F. Vers. See Worth to become, and cf. Advertise, Averse, Controversy, Convert, Divers, Invert, Obverse, Prose, Suz
erain, Vortex.

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