canto

Long books have chapters. Long poems do, too. But a chapter in a long poem is called a canto.

There are several famous poems that are divided into cantos, including Dante's Divine Comedy, Spenser's The Faerie Queene, and Byron's Don Juan. Canto is an Italian word coming from Latin which means song or singing. From Italian it was borrowed in English to mean a section of a poem.

Definitions of canto
  1. noun
    a major division of a long poem
    see moresee less
    type of:
    section, subdivision
    a self-contained part of a larger composition (written or musical)
  2. noun
    the highest part (usually the melody) in a piece of choral music
    see moresee less
    type of:
    voice part
    a part written for a singer
Word Family