acrostic

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acrostic

(əkrŏ`stĭk), arrangement of words or lines in which a series of initial, final, or other corresponding letters, when taken together, stand in a set order to form a word, a phrase, the alphabet, or the like. A famous acrostic was made on the Greek for Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior: Iesous Christos, Theou Uios, Soter (ch and th being each one letter in Greek). The initials spell ichthus, Greek for fish; hence the frequent use of the fish by early Christians as a symbol for Jesus. There are several alphabetic acrostics (pertaining to the Hebrew alphabet) in the Bible, e.g., in Ps. 119 and LamentationsLamentations,
book of the Bible, placed immediately after Jeremiah, to whose author it has been ascribed since ancient times. It was probably composed by several authors. It is a series of five poems mourning the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon.
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. Acrostic verses are common, and very elaborate puzzles have been devised combining several schemes.

Acrostic

 

a poem in which the first letter of each line forms a word or phrase when read from the top downward. Acrostics originated in ancient Greek poetry and are found in Russian poetry from the 17th century onward. Poems in which a word is formed from the last letter of each line (telestic) or the middle letter (mesostic) occur less frequently. The sonnet “To Valerii Briusov” by M. Kuzmin is an acrostic. The first three lines read:

Voluminous waves direct their surf
At cliffs that still stand firm.
Lo! An eagle flies past the pitiful sights . . .   

acrostic

a. a number of lines of writing, such as a poem, certain letters of which form a word, proverb, etc. A single acrostic is formed by the initial letters of the lines, a double acrostic by the initial and final letters, and a triple acrostic by the initial, middle, and final letters
b. the word, proverb, etc., so formed
c. (as modifier): an acrostic sonnet