AskDefine | Define tercet

Dictionary Definition

tercet n : the cardinal number that is the sum of one and one and one [syn: three, 3, III, trio, threesome, tierce, leash, troika, triad, trine, trinity, ternary, ternion, triplet, terzetto, trey, deuce-ace]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a three-line stanza in a poem

See also

Extensive Definition

A tercet is three lines of poetry, forming a stanza or complete poem. A three line stanza. Haiku is an example of an unrhymed tercet poem.
Other types of tercet include an enclosed tercet where the lines rhyme in an a b a pattern and terza rima where the a b a pattern of a verse is continued in the next verse by making the outer lines of the next stanza rhyme with the central line of the preceding stanza as in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. The tercet also forms part of the villanelle, where the initial five stanzas are tercets, followed by a concluding quatrain.
A tercet may also be separate halves of the ending sestet in a petrarchan sonnet where the rhyme scheme is abbaabba cdccdc as in Longfellow's "Cross of Snow." It also ends sestinas where the keywords of the lines before are repeated in a highly ordered form.
tercet in Catalan: Tercet
tercet in German: Terzett (Verslehre)
tercet in French: Tercet
tercet in Italian: Terzina (metrica)
tercet in Hebrew: טרצינה
tercet in Dutch: Terzine
tercet in Japanese: 三行連句
tercet in Russian: Терцет
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