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1. (in modern prosody) a pause, esp for sense, usually near the middle of a verse line.
2. (in classical prosody) a break between words within a metrical foot, usually in the third or fourth foot of the line
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in poetry, a regular break between words in a poem.

In classical poetry, a caesura usually occurred within a foot; in accentual-syllabic verse it usually coincides with the foot ending. The caesura occurs after the second foot in the iambic pentameter line, as in “Eshche odno ∥ poslednee skazan’e” (“Yet one last tale,” Pushkin); after the third foot in iambic and trochaic hexameter lines, for example, “Dni pozdnei oseni ∥ braniat obyknovenno” (“The days of late autumn are usually cursed,” Pushkin); and occasionally after the second foot in the amphibrachic tetrameter line, as in “Gliazhu kak bezumnyi, ∥ na chernuiu shal’” (“I gaze like a madman upon the black shawl,” Pushkin). The longer the line, the greater the need for a caesura. Usually a strong intonational pause, a caesura approaches the strength of a line ending. As with a clausula, the foot preceding a caesura may by truncated or augmented; it may also rhyme, for example, “Tri u Budrysa syna, ∥ kak i on, tri litvina” (“Budrys has three sons, like him, Lithuanians,” Pushkin).



in music, a division between sections of a musical work. Together with other factors, a caesura ensures the perception of the articulation of a work and its structure. There are no special markings to indicate a caesura; in part, phrasing ligatures permit their location to be judged. In a number of instances, a caesura coincides with natural pauses between notes; they always appear after melodic and harmonic cadences, after a hold, and at transitions to a repeat. The significance, or impact, of a caesura is proportional to the scale of the sections it divides and the degree to which they appear a completed entity. In a number of instances, varying opinions concerning the location and significance of a caesura are possible; together with other features, such differences mold the distinctiveness of individual interpretations.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
La cesure generee par la Revolution francaise et l'epopee napoleonienne menerent tant chez les grands decideurs politiques que chez de nombreux intellectuels, a une nouvelle apprehension de l'histoire ainsi qu'a un culte du passe.
En somme, les veritables cesures sont rarement conformes a celles de l'histoire politique.
Sur l'echelle de notation, le point de cesure a ete fixe a l'echelon 2.
"Alter" et "ego", x et y, tournes l'un vers l'autre, constituent en tant que paire ou que "centaure", un seul signe concomitant tourne vers la cesure (l'original) les departageant et les constituant en deux "natures" distinctes, comme les centaures sont dits aussi "de nature double" ("diphues").
La creation d'une promenade en bord de mer, au debouche du centre historique, a certes permis aux Palermitains de se reapproprier cette partie de la ville si longtemps isolee et abandonnee, mais elle n'a pas efface la cesure que represente le trace de la voie rapide (21), Le centre-ville et le port, et plus largement la ville et le littoral, torment toujours deux entites distinctes a Palerme que la municipality cherche aujourd'hui a ressouder.
Grazie all'ambiguita, alle sospensioni, al non-detto, il racconto di Tristano si allontana dal romanzo per avvicinarsi, al diario, al memoriale e soprattutto al monologo ovvero al 'racconto di vita vissuta,' riuscendo a riprodurre in parole gli sbalzi, le cesure, le ripetizioni e le reticenze della testimonianza orale.
Martin Paquet prend bien soin de specifier qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une histoire de la nation, ce qui peut expliquer par exemple l'absence d'attention portee a la cesure marquee de l'origine ethnolinguistique de l'immigration apres 1760.