Definition of dactyl in English:

dactyl

Line breaks: dac¦tyl
Pronunciation: /ˈdaktɪl
 
/

noun

Prosody
A metrical foot consisting of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables or (in Greek and Latin) one long syllable followed by two short syllables.
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • His formula for modern heroic verse, proclaimed up front in the essay, was, in short: more dactyls than trochees, and more trochees than spondees.
  • Southey agrees, however, that the foot before the final trochee should always be a dactyl.

Origin

late Middle English: via Latin from Greek daktulos, literally 'finger' (the three bones of the finger corresponding to the three syllables).

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