Definition of catalectic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkadəˈlektik/


(Of a metrical line of verse) lacking one syllable in the last foot.
Example sentences
  • The concept of catalexis and the catalectic verse is important in the study of the anapaestic dimeter.
  • A minus sign in the notation indicates the line is catalectic, a plus sign indicates a hypermetric line.
  • The lines gradually increase from a trochaic monometer catalectic to a complicated decamter of spondees, anapaests, paeons, and dactyls.


A line lacking a syllable in the last foot.


Late 16th century: from late Latin catalecticus, from Greek katalēktikos, from katalēgein 'leave off'.

Words that rhyme with catalectic

apoplectic, dialectic, eclectic, hectic

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cat·a·lec·tic

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