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1. Of or relating to the Greek poet Sappho.
a. Of, relating to, or being a verse characteristic of Sappho, containing 11 syllables and consisting of a trochee, a spondee or trochee, a dactyl, a trochee, and a spondee or trochee.
b. Relating to or being a stanza of three such verses followed by a verse consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee or trochee.
c. Relating to or being an ode made up of such stanzas.
d. Of, relating to, or being a verse, stanza, or poem in accentual-syllabic meter composed in imitation of Sapphic quantitative verse.
A Sapphic meter, verse, stanza, or ode.


Of or relating to lesbianism.

[After Sappho, known for her homoerotic poetry.]

sap′phism (săf′ĭz′əm) adj.
sap′phist n. & adj.


1. (Poetry) prosody denoting a metre associated with Sappho, consisting generally of a trochaic pentameter line with a dactyl in the third foot
2. (Poetry) of or relating to Sappho or her poetry
3. lesbian
(Poetry) prosody a verse, line, or stanza written in the Sapphic form


(ˈsæf ɪk)

1. pertaining to Sappho or to certain meters or a form of strophe or stanza used by or named after her.
3. a Sapphic verse.
[1495–1505; < Latin sapphicus < Greek sapphikós=Sapph(ṓ) Sappho + -ikos -ic]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.Sapphic - a meter used by Sappho and named after her
rhythmic, rhythmical - recurring with measured regularity; "the rhythmic chiming of church bells"- John Galsworthy; "rhythmical prose"
2.sapphic - of or relating to or characterized by homosexual relations between woman
homosexual - sexually attracted to members of your own sex


[ˈsæfɪk] ADJ (= lesbian) → sáfico


References in periodicals archive ?
After fleeing to Germany in search of religious freedom, Morata tutored students in Greek and composed what many at the time felt were her finest works: a series of translations of the Psalms into Greek hexameters and sapphics.
Beardsley's hallucinatory world of Hermaphrodites and Homunculi, satyrs, sapphics, fops, phalluses, foetuses and grotesques, suited me very well in my formative years, representing as it did suberversion.
169-199 on Swinburne's Sapphic poems and Hardy's Sapphic tribute to Swinburne ("A Singer Asleep") may find themselves surprised by the rather narrow emphasis on the Sapphic body--physical and textual--in that section of the book.