1. A 14-line verse form often in iambic pentameter, having one of several conventional rhyme schemes and usually featuring a shift in mood or tone after the eighth or twelfth line.
2. A poem in this form.
[French or Italian sonetto (French, from Italian), from Old Provençal sonet, diminutive of son, song, from Latin sonus, a sound; see swen- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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.