A poetic form composed of lines from existing works.

The earliest known centos were written in late antiquity. Classical & Renaissance centos generally use lines from Virgil or Homer. Modern centos often use lines from multiple poets, but they vary in source material, citation style, and theme.

The word “cento” is derived from the Greek kéntron (κέντρων): patchwork garment. A modern selection of exactly one hundred lines may come from a false etymological connection to the Italian word cento: one hundred.