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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 ?
In a catalectic line, there are unvoiced tactical beats and therefore more beating that voicing:
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.
Pound called him Carlos and "for fifteen or eighteen years" cited Williams as the sole known American-dwelling author who could be counted on to oppose the invisible barriers set up by the collective American mindset--"the sole catalectic in whose presence some sort of modification would take place.
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.
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).
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.
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.
In its most frequent form this strophe consisted of six lines: a dactylic hexameter followed by a lesser archilochean, another dactylic hexameter followed by an iambelegus, and a greater archilochean followed by an iambic trimeter catalectic.
Example 9 dissolves into jaunty dactylic tetrameter catalectic in a natural unforced reading (the unmetrically-occupied S-slot is double-underlined):
But the meter--trochaic tetrameter catalectic in all but the penultimate dimetric line--bears remote echoes of Caesar's marching songs.