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illustration Enjambment



Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, 19th century


(In verse) The continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.

Examples of Enjambment in a sentence

"The technique of enjambment can make reading poetry tricky, as it’s natural to want to pause at the end of the line instead of reading it through."

"Poets toying with enjambment were responsible for some of the 20th century’s most interesting poems, such as T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.”"

About Enjambment

“Enjambment” is a loanword from French, in which it means “the state or action of straddling.”

Did you Know?

In poetry, “enjambment” refers to the practice of breaking a continuing line in the middle of a sentence or phrase. A poet might want to visually emphasize certain words and ideas by breaking sentences off in surprising places. In poetry read aloud, enjambment might be hard to hear — its role is to bring together words that appear more broken on the page. As a result, there are many poems full of enjambment that read aloud like normal prose. It’s only when enjambed lines are viewed on the page that the reader can see their unexpected breaks and rhymes.

illustration Enjambment

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