Entry from British & World English dictionary
A hexameter consisting of five dactyls and either a spondee or trochee, in which any of the first four dactyls, and sometimes the fifth, may be replaced by a spondee.
- Several English poets have attempted extended composition in hexameters, the dactylic hexameter having been the epic metre of Homer.
- Thus a pattern consisting of five iambs would be an iambic pentameter; a pattern consisting of six dactyls would be a dactylic hexameter; and so on.
- The twenty four books of dactylic hexameter we now know as the Odyssey have been transmitted with various textual variation since about 300 B.C.E.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: dac|tyl¦ic hex|am¦eter
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.