Definition of anapaest in English:

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anapaest

Pronunciation: /ˈanəpiːst/
/ˈanəpɛst/
(US anapest)

noun

Prosody
A metrical foot consisting of two short or unstressed syllables followed by one long or stressed syllable.
Example sentences
  • Thus in the last stanza quoted, after the surge of anapaests in the first two lines, spondees, dactyls, and iambs begin to appear.
  • They seemed startled by the realization they could actually craft iamb, anapest, anapest, and have it come out a poem.
  • He thereby lends some countenance to Saintsbury's later mantra that what passes for English dactylics are in fact ‘tipped-up’ hypermetric anapests.

Derivatives

anapaestic

Pronunciation: /anəˈpiːstɪk/
/anəˈpɛstɪk/
adjective
Example sentences
  • But the repetition of ‘call to me’ in its dactylic form makes a continuous anapaestic reading impossible, and the stress dactyls in the following lines makes it clearly inappropriate.
  • ‘The Beautiful Changes’ consists of three six-line stanzas in loose iambics with an anapestic lilt.
  • That poem, ‘The Pig and the Rooster,’ was in anapestic tetrameter, the poetic meter of ‘The Night before Christmas.’

Origin

Late 16th century: via Latin from Greek anapaistos 'reversed', from ana- 'back' + paiein 'strike' (because it is the reverse of a dactyl).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ana|paest

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