- a foot of two syllables, a short followed by a long in quantitative meter, or an unstressed followed by a stressed in accentual meter, as in Come live / with me / and be / my love.
Origin of iamb
First recorded in 1835–45; short for iambus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for iamb
They are both within the zone of the unaccented syllable of the iamb.
Some, however, refer it to the supposed lop-sidedness or inequality of badgers' feet, answering to the ⏑— of the iamb.Minor Poets of the Caroline Period, Vol III
Occasionally, however, and especially in the longer poems, the regular recurrence of the iamb is a little monotonous.Studies of Contemporary Poets
Mary C. Sturgeon
The group seems a sort of combination of the iamb and trochee, and has an element in every possible zone of the movement cycle.
The group seems an iamb with a duplicated unaccented syllable.
- a metrical foot consisting of two syllables, a short one followed by a long one (◡ –)
- a line of verse of such feet
C19 iamb, from C16 iambus, from Latin, from Greek iambos
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for iamb
1842, from French iambe (16c.), from Latin iambus, from Greek iambos (see iambic). Iambus itself was used in English in this sense in 1580s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper