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or anapaest

[an-uh-pest] /ˈæn əˌpɛst/
noun, Prosody.
a foot of three syllables, two short followed by one long in quantitative meter, and two unstressed followed by one stressed in accentual meter, as in for the nonce.
Origin of anapest
1580-90; < Latin anapaestus < Greek anápaistos struck back, reversed (as compared with a dactyl), equivalent to ana- ana- + pais- (variant stem of paíein to strike) + -tos past participle suffix
Related forms
anapestic, anapaestic, adjective
anapestically, anapaestically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for anapestic
Historical Examples
  • The measure of the song is anapestic (that is, with the accent on every third syllable), with modifications.

    The Lady of the Lake Sir Walter Scott
  • A poetic foot of three syllables which bears the accent on the third syllable is called an anapestic foot.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7 Charles H. Sylvester
  • Technically the poem is anapestic tetrameter much varied by the introduction of iambic feet.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10

    Charles Herbert Sylvester
  • anapestic feet are used freely to improve the music; in fact, they are nearly as numerous as the iambic feet.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10

    Charles Herbert Sylvester
  • Again we find, especially in dactyllic and anapestic lines, a trochee or spondee thrown in to vary the movement.

    Rhymes and Meters Horatio Winslow
  • Here we have a hexameter which is neither iambic nor anapestic, but a combination of the two rhythms.

    English Verse Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.
  • Often it seems to an English reader to have an anapestic effect, and to be best described as anapestic tetrameter.

    English Verse Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.
  • Virgilius Mars wrote in hexameters; Horatius Flaccus in alcaic, sapphic, and anapestic verse.

    The Green Book Mr Jkai
  • There is evident a tendency toward the rising verse and the anapestic foot.

    The Translations of Beowulf Chauncey Brewster Tinker
  • In like manner we have anapestic lines of all lengths from monometer to hexameter.

Word Origin and History for anapestic

1690s, from Latin anapaesticus, from Greek anapaistikos, from anapaistos (see anapest).



also anapaest, "two short syllables followed by a long one," 1670s, from Latin anapestus, from Greek anapaistos "struck back, rebounding," verbal adjective from anapaiein "to strike back," from ana- "back" (see ana-) + paiein "to strike," from PIE *pau- "to cut, strike, stamp" (see pave). So called because it reverses the dactyl.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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