Verse - disambiguation

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You searched for Verse. AWE treats various aspects of the word in different places.

The central meaning of verse has to do with the literary genre of poetry.

  • For a discussion of the genre, go to poetry - prose. Verse, as a non-count noun, is sometimes used in much the same sense as poetry - but AWE uses the two words in differing senses. For the distinction (which may be useful to students of literature), see poetry - verse.

The derivation of verse is the Latin versus, past participle of vertere 'to turn': "(so named from turning to begin another line)" (OED). (For a special form of this, see boustrophedon.) So a verse can be

  • a single line of poetry. (See metre in verse and the category:prosody for more.)
  • A similar use is also made in identifying the smaller divisions of the Books of the Bible - see Chapter and verse.
  • Confusingly, it can also be the name of a group of lines in a poem. A verse is a level of organization larger than a single line, but smaller than a whole poem. There may be several verses in one poem. AWE prefers the term stanza for this.
    • In song, the verse and the chorus is another way of expressing a similar distinction. Again, the verse is a repeated pattern, using different words; the Chorus is usually repetition of the same (or nearly the same) words. It is common for a soloist to sing the verse, while the whole company sings the Chorus. This is also known as a Refrain.

The abbreviation for 'verse', both as 'line' and 'stanza' is v., with an [optional] plural vv. See further at v - vv - vs.

  • You may want an explanation of the phrase chapter and verse and its extended meanings.