E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Acrostic (Greek, akros stichos).
The term was first applied to the verses of the-Erythræan sibyl, written on leaves. These prophecies were excessively obscure, but were so contrived that when the leaves were sorted and laid in order, their initial letters always made a word.Dionys., iv. 62.
Acrostic poetry among the Hebrews consisted of twenty-two lines or stanzas beginning with the letters of the alphabet in succession, as Psalm cxix., etc.