• Greek: akros, end; stichos, line


Any composition in which the initial or final letters, syllables, or words of each line form other words or sentences; said to have been invented by Epicharmus. The poem of the Erythrrean Sibyl thus produced the Greek words for “Jesus ChrIst, Son of God, Saviour, which also in turn yielded the letters ICHTHUS (fish), a mystical symbol of Our Lord. The acrostic Psalm 9 (Hebrew 9-10) is only appreciable in the original Hebrew. The term is also applied to passages in Scripture in which the texts begin with letters of the alphabet in consecutive order, e.g., Psalms, 110, 111, 118; Proverbs, 31.

MLA Citation

  • “acrostic”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 November 2016. Web. 21 January 2017. <>