Definition of iambic in English:


Line breaks: iam¦bic
Pronunciation: /ʌɪˈambɪk


  • Of or using iambuses: iambic pentameters
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    • It was translated into English iambic pentameter with rhymed couplets.
    • The most striking feature of Yes is undoubtedly the language that varies from rhyming couplets to iambic pentameter.
    • Growing in confidence, we then moved on to iambic pentameters and Clerihews.


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  • 1Iambic verse as a genre.
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    • Common metrical patterns in both poetry and music are iambic, trochaic, dactylic, amphibrachic, anapaestic, spondaic, and tribrachic.
    • These days my feet tend more to the caution of the spondaic than the remorseless, heroic march of the iambic.
    • You can mix it all up, iambic, hexameter, off-rhymes, scats, raps and syncopated accents.
  • 1.1 (iambics) Iambic verse.
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    • She will slip from dactyls to iambics, pentameter to trimeter, quatrains to sestets.
    • ‘The Beautiful Changes’ consists of three six-line stanzas in loose iambics with an anapestic lilt.
    • There is often a meandering discursivity in the rhythm and content of Prynne's fractured iambics.


mid 16th century: from French iambique, via late Latin from Greek iambikos, from iambos (see iambus).

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