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1. One or more unstressed syllables at the beginning of a line of verse, before the reckoning of the normal meter begins.
2. Music See upbeat.

[New Latin anacrūsis, from Greek anakrousis, beginning of a tune, from anakrouein, to strike up a song : ana-, ana- + krouein, to push.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -ses (-siːz)
1. (Poetry) prosody one or more unstressed syllables at the beginning of a line of verse
2. (Classical Music) music
a. an unstressed note or group of notes immediately preceding the strong first beat of the first bar
b. another word for upbeat
[C19: from Greek anakrousis prelude, from anakrouein to strike up, from ana- + krouein to strike]
anacrustic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌæn əˈkru sɪs)

n., pl. -cru•ses (-ˈkru siz)
1. an unstressed syllable or syllable group that begins a line of verse but is not counted as part of the first foot.
[1825–35; < Latin < Greek anákrousis=anakroú(ein) to strike up, push back (ana- ana- + kroúein to strike, push) + -sis -sis]
an`a•crus′tic (-ˈkrʌs tɪk) adj.
an`a•crus′ti•cal•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Read Ahead: Anacrusis LLC, the music disappears ahead of where you are reading to develop the skill of looking forward, which helps tremendously with fluency.
23 is in G minor; the anacrusis pitch, B-flat, is diatonic in this key, however, by the downbeat of m.
For example "fire and slaughter," "shield be splintered." Sometimes, on the A-type verse, an anacrusis applies where we can drop an initial unstressed syllable without affecting the meter.
For Song XVI, 'Duty and Part of Reason', Cibber has replaced Ramsay's original choice of tune 'Kirk wad let me be' with 'The Lass of Patie's Mill', which after the anacrusis in the opening line fits Ramsay's words comfortably.
After an initial, two-beat anacrusis, higher levels of metrical beating in the poem form four five-line, caudated stanzas and one five-beat, caudated line ("Like the leaves themselves / Turning in the Wind.
From anacrusis to plain, remove the cellophane definitely nothing in Pythagorean deserts looking for Bantu sulfates got to jettison hone or lacerate grin pin in Billie's finger, jazz had gone home was late anacrusis, a steady hour of night on a platter stand in a doorway and we shut that night by play of bumper doors obeisant to steer as half a car or a leg up on beady feminism, anacrusis?
The poet explains in a footnote that there occurs a 'type of anacrusis'.
These repeat the motif that had already appeared at the beginning of the work (bar 7 anacrusis) at the same metrical position.
At the end of the scene, as Florinda's verbalized climax disintegrates into heavy breathing, the instruments perform a cliched final cadence (the bass viol marks a triplet anacrusis on the dominant, then descends to a first-beat final tonic), and the character Giovan Battista indulges in the supreme motion of artistic control, waving both hands in a conductor's gesture of closure, bringing the music and Florinda's solo performance to an end.