When I quote from an online dictionary I like to duplicate the formatting as much as possible.

When using standard > block quoting I can't find a way to have a new line without inserting a blank line. Adjacent lines are run together.

But if I use a > prefix followed by several blanks the lines are formatted as I enter them, without running adjacent lines together.

However, when I do this the standard * and ** delimiters for italics and bold don't work.

Is there any way to get around this?


This is one line
This is the next line
This line contains *italics* and **bold**
  • 1
    It's not clear what you mean. Could you provide a literal example? Do you just want a <br> to break the current line without starting a new paragraph?
    – tchrist Mod
    Jun 4, 2020 at 14:10
  • @tchrist - Maybe <br> would do it. I always forget that bit of HTML when formatting on SE.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 4, 2020 at 14:13
  • 1) Yes, this would be a good thing to know how to do. 2) Not that the difficulty of formatting should be a bias, but quotes from dictionaries should only be supportive information, and not the primary content of answers. (This is more of a general admonition to others; there's been a lot of SWRs lately where the answerers give as their entire answer a word and its definition copied from a single dictionary. (which is a poor kind of answer))
    – Mitch
    Jun 4, 2020 at 14:55
  • @Mitch - In my most recent situation, someone was asking if any "authorities" gave a particular definition.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 4, 2020 at 15:12
  • @HotLicks Yes, that is a very good instance to quote. I wasn't pointing at you, I was just using example as a reminder to others.
    – Mitch
    Jun 4, 2020 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in the Editing Help, you can use two spaces after each line:

> This is one line  
> This is the next line  
> This line contains *italics* and **bold**


This is one line
This is the next line
This line contains italics and bold

Alternatively, you can put an HTML line break (<br/>) after each line, but that's more work to type.

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