a·cros·tic (ə-krôstĭk, ə-krŏstĭk)
1. A poem or series of lines in which certain letters, usually the first in each line, form a name, motto, or message when read in sequence.
2. See word square.
3. A word puzzle in which the answers to several different clues form an anagram of a quotation, phrase, or other text.
[French acrostiche, from Old French, from Greek akrostikhis : akron, head, end; see ACROMEGALY + stikhos, line; see steigh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)acrostic
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.