ACROSTIC, a kind of poetical composition, the verses whereof are disposed in such a manner, as that the initial letters make up some person's name, title, or a particular motto. See POEM and POETRY.

The word is derived from the Greek ἄκρος, summit, that which is at one of the extremes, and στίχος, verse.

There are also Acrostics, where the name or title is in the middle, or some other part of the verse. And others which go backward; beginning with the first letter of the last verse, and proceeding upwards.

Some refiners in this trifling way have even gone to Pentacrostics; where the name is to be repeated five times. See PENTACROSTIC.

The name Acrostics is also applied by some authors to two ancient epigrams in the first book of the Anthology; the one in honor of Bacchus, the other of Apollo: each consists of 25 verses; the first whereof is the proposition or argument of the whole, and the other 24 composed of four epithets, beginning each with the same letter, and thus following in the order of the 24 verses of the Greek alphabet: so that the first of the 24 letters comprehends four epithets beginning with α; the second as many, with β; and so on for the rest, totaling 96 epithets for each god. See EPIGRAM.