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Lacking one or more syllables, especially in the final foot. Used of verse.

[Late Latin catalēcticus, from Greek katalēktikos, from katalēgein, to leave off : kata-, intensive pref.; see cata- + lēgein, to cease, terminate; see slēg- in Indo-European roots.]


(Poetry) prosody (of a line of verse) having an incomplete final foot
[C16: via Late Latin from Greek katalēktikos incomplete, from katalēgein, from kata- off + lēgein to stop]


(ˌkæt lˈɛk tɪk)
1. (of a line of verse) lacking part of the last foot.
2. a catalectic line of verse.
[1580–90; < Late Latin catalēcticus < Greek katalēktikós incomplete <katalḗg(ein) to leave off]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.catalectic - (prosody) a line of verse that lacks a syllable in the last metrical foot
metrics, prosody - the study of poetic meter and the art of versification
line of poetry, line of verse - a single line of words in a poem
Adj.1.catalectic - (verse) metrically incomplete; especially lacking one or more syllables in the final metrical foot
acatalectic - (verse) metrically complete; especially having the full number of syllables in the final metrical foot
hypercatalectic - (verse) having an extra syllable or syllables at the end of a metrically complete verse or in a metrical foot
References in periodicals archive ?
Those variations that are present extend no further than trochaic catalectic lines (38, 41, 51)--hardly rare departures from such metrical scaffolding.
Two of the metrical lines are also catalectic, another reflex of cyclical time.
Although all the quatrains of this poem are in trochaic tetrameter, the first, second, and fourth lines of each are catalectic, missing the final unstressed syllable (marked by a [bar]).
On one hand a select minority of readers, often trained I find in European classical music, will begin at the beginning downbeat, make as many trochees as possible, and then, coming up short for foot four, declare the line catalectic with terminal truncation.
When prosodist George Saintsbury tells me of "the rigid economy of means" in Swinburne's poem "Stage Love," with, he says, its "plain trochaic trimeter catalectic" I have to confess to being more puzzled than enlightened.
'The Most Creative Act': He thinks of counterpoint the/cadence of a catalectic line that breaks/another curving back upon itself the flow/into cesura's calm texture/of vowels and consonants expectations dashed the stretch of/tension aesthetic distance.//He sets himself the task: write the poems and never/mention her smile.
Here Poe lays his famous rational grid upon the composition of a poem of irrationality--"The Raven." For example, he states his (predetermined) scheme for rhythm and meter: "The former is trochaic--The latter is octometer acatalectic, alternating with heptameter catalectic repeated in the refrain of the fifth verse, and terminating with a tetrameter cataletic" (Essays 21).
"[And] there was no wind" becomes "and not a breath of wind any-where" (2:04): anapest and spondee become three dactyls and an amphimacer; "groping their way in" becomes "groping blindly in" (2:06): dactyl and trochee become three insistent trochees, the last catalectic; "took a ship's shape as she past within" becomes "took on the shape of a ship as she passed within" (2:14): trochee, spondee, anapest, and iamb become three rocking dactyls and an amphimacer; and "my view a live-sea" becomes "my view, a proper, live-sea" (3:15): spondee, pyrrhic syllable, spondee become spondee, amphibrach, sponde e.
If a given text has less material in it than the prosody requires we register a violation of FILL; the unfilled metrical positions are traditionally said to be catalectic. If a given text has more material in it than the meter allows we register a violation of PARSE; the unparsed text is traditionally said to be extrametrical.
And this does not occur, and cannot occur in a trance or in a catalectic state, but only in the adamantine lucidity of a full and fully-rounded awareness.
407-9) has noticed that even the general disposition of the sequence, with its tetramimeral caesura and catalectic final line, appears in 'Apparebit repentina', a poem 'de die iudicii' mentioned by Bede in his De arte metrica.
archilochean In classical poetry, one of several different verse forms ascribed to the Greek poet Archilochus, including the greater archilochean (a line composed of a dactylic tetrapody followed by a trochaic tripody) and the lesser archilochean (a dactylic tripody catalectic).