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.
late Middle English: via Latin from Greek daktulos, literally 'finger' (the three bones of the finger corresponding to the three syllables).
Definition of dactyl in:
- The British & World English dictionary