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1. (not in technical usage) a stanza or other short subdivision of a poem
2. poetry as distinct from prose
a. a series of metrical feet forming a rhythmic unit of one line
b. (as modifier): verse line
4. a specified type of metre or metrical structure
5. one of the series of short subsections into which most of the writings in the Bible are divided
6. a metrical composition; poem
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



artistic speech that is phonically divided into relatively short sections called verses, which are mutually related and commensurable. Division into verses is generally marked by the text’s appearance (printing in separate lines) and is often accompanied by rhyme and other phonic features. Meter, or the alternation within a line of strong and weak syllables, is the means used to emphasize the interrelationship and commensurability of verses, but meter in verse may be absent, as in tonic verse and free verse.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.