Figure Name acrostic
Source Bullinger 180-188; Silva Rhetoricae (; Waddy (1889); Bullinger (1898) ("acrostichion: or, acrostic")
Earliest Source None
Synonyms acrostichion, parastichis
Etymology Gk. akros, "at the point" (ie. at "the beginning" or "the end") and stichos, "row" or "order"
Type Scheme
Linguistic Domain Orthographic

1. When the first letters of successive lines are arranged either in alphabetical order (i.e., abecedarian) or in such a way as to spell a word. (Silva Rhetoricae)

2. The Acrostic is a poem in which the first letters of the successive lines spell a word or phrase that is the subject of the whole, generally a person's name or a motto. (Waddy)

3. Repetition of the same or successive Letters at the beginning of Words or Clauses. (Bullinger, 190)


1. Your answer must not come by prying force
Except that gentle urging of your mind.
So take your time, and tell me when you will. (Silva Rhetoricae)

Lapis Lazuli (Waddy)

3. Ah! the happinesses of the perfect in the way,
Such as walk in the law of Jehovah.
Ah! the happinesses of the keepers of His testimonies,
Who seek Him with their whole heart.
Assuredly they have not worked iniquity:
In His ways they ever walked.
As to Thy commandments - Thou hast commanded us,
That we should diligently keep them.
Ah! Lord, that my ways were prepared
To keep Thy statutes.
Ashamed, then, I shall never be,
While I have respect unto all Thy commandments.
All my heart shall praise Thee in uprightness,
While I learn the judgments of Thy righteousness.
All Thy statutes also I will keep:
Leave me not utterly.
By what means shall a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed thereto according to Thy word.
By every means my heart hath sought Thee:
Let me not err from Thy commandments.
Besides, I have laid up Thy word in my heart,
That I might not sin against Thee.
Blessed art Thou, O Jehovah,
Teach me Thy statutes.
By my lips I recounted
All the judgments of Thy mouth.
By walking in Thy Mandate's way,
I found joy beyond all wealth.
By Thy precepts shall I guide my musings,
And shall pore o'er Thy paths,
By they statutes shall I be delighted;
Thy word I shall not forget.
-Psa. 145 - Here the Acrostic is perfect [in Hebrew], with the exception of the letter Nun, which comes between verses 13 and 14. (Bullinger, 194)

Kind Of Repetition
Part Of arrangement, figures of order
Related Figures abecedarian, alliteration, anaphora, figures of order
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ioanna Malton
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed Yes
Reviewer Ashley Rose Kelly