All Words > Palinode

illustration Palinode



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, 17th century


A poem in which the poet retracts a view or sentiment expressed in a former poem.

Examples of Palinode in a sentence

"After tasting my wife’s pecan pie, my uncle gave a surprising palinode in which he took back his aversion to nuts in pies and cakes."

"The courtroom was staggered when the prosecution’s star witness gave a palinode to retract his accusation."

About Palinode

“Palinode” is from the Middle French “palinod,” taken from the Latin “palinōdia,” meaning “recantation.”

Did you Know?

In modern usage, “palinode” can be both a noun (describing a retraction or reversal) or a verb (meaning “to recant”). Yet both ideas are based on an idea that calls back to the poetry of the 17th century. During that period, poems held the popular imagination in the way that popular music does today, and poets often used their poems to advance political points, criticize society, and even dunk on their enemies. Sometimes 17th-century poets got carried away with their grudges and needed to take back some of their nastier lines — think of it as the early ancestor to the hip-hop diss track. To do so, a poet would write a palinode — a poem in which they took back the prior insult. Today, you don’t need to write a poem to make a palinode: All it takes is a retraction of a previously held position.

illustration Palinode

Recent Words

What's the word?