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1. Prosody another word for caesura
2. Music a continuation of a note or rest beyond its normal length.



an interruption in the flow of speech. A distinction is made between logical pauses, which are determined entirely by syntax, and rhythmic pauses, which depend not on syntax but on a rhythmic impulse. Logical pauses are encountered in all kinds of speech, and rhythmic pauses only in versified speech.

In quantitative versification (for example, the choral lyrics of the Greeks), a pause may be a structural element of a line of verse: it has a definite length and replaces a certain number of syllables of the same length. In tonic versification (for example, Russian verse), where the length of syllables is not regulated, a pause may be merely an element of demarcation in a line of verse. It denotes various obligatory word divisions (for example, at the end of a line or a caesura)—that is, it is associated not with versification but with declamation. Nonetheless, some prosodists (G. A. Shengeli, A. P. Kviatkovskii, and S. V. Shervinskii) consider it feasible to regard the pause as a structural element even in tonic verse, chiefly in the dol’nik (a Russian poetic meter).


Shengeli, G. Tekhnika stikha. Moscow, 1960.
Shervinskii, S. Khudozhestvennoe chtenie. Moscow, 1935.
Shervinskii, S. Ritm i smysl. Moscow, 1961.
Kviatkovskii, A. Poeticheskii slovar’. Moscow, 1976.


References in classic literature ?
There had been therefore no small interest taken in the success of the Disinherited Knight, by those who occupied the part of the lists before which he now paused.
Ethan paused also, affecting to fumble for the peg on which he hung his coat and cap.
Boris paused in the middle of the room, looked round, brushed a little dust from the sleeve of his uniform, and going up to a mirror examined his handsome face.
When she heard Mary's key in the door she paused in front of the fireplace, and Mary found her standing upright, looking at once expectant and determined, like a person who has come on an errand of such importance that it must be broached without preface.
They turned into the Square and paused before Olive's turning.
Lovell paused, and took a drink from a glass by his side.
Dag Daughtry strolled along the beach, Michael at his heels or running circles of delight around him at every repetition of that strange low lip-noise, and paused just outside the circle of lantern light where dusky forms laboured with landing cargo from the whale-boats and where the Commissioner's clerk and the Makambo's super-cargo still wrangled over the bill of lading.
He paused, and, stepping close up to her, laid his hand on her arm.
From time to time, as we two went on our way, the bright figure of the child paused, hovering low in the cloudless sky.
In the first faint gray of the morning, when the swarming advance had paused to resume something of definition as a line of battle, and skirmishers had been thrown forward, word was passed along to call the roll.
My name--if I mention it," she resumed, without looking up, "may possibly inform you--" She paused.
Wardle paused too, and insensibly released his hold of the carving-knife, which remained inserted in the beef.