Definition of quatrain in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkwɒtreɪn/


A stanza of four lines, especially one having alternate rhymes.
Example sentences
  • The play is written in verse which varies between alternately rhyming quatrains and stanzaic form, the effect being lyric rather than dramatic.
  • We hear iambs, trochees, Virgil's hexameters, the Norse alliterative lines, each arranged in their various couplets, quatrains, choric stanzas, gnomic verses, and much more besides.
  • By the time he has finished the first stanza, this is the form he seems to have chosen: a three-stress-per-line stanza of four lines, a quatrain in which the second and fourth lines rhyme.


Late 16th century: from French, from quatre 'four'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: quat|rain

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.