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  1. Prosody.
    1. pertaining to the iamb.
    2. consisting of or employing an iamb or iambs.
  2. Greek Literature. noting or pertaining to satirical poetry written in iambs.
  1. Prosody.
    1. an iamb.
    2. Usually iambics.a verse or poem consisting of iambs.
  2. Greek Literature. a satirical poem in this meter.

Origin of iambic

1565–75; < Latin iambicus < Greek iambikós. See iambus, -ic
Related formsi·am·bi·cal·ly, adverbun·i·am·bic, adjective
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British Dictionary definitions for iambic


  1. of, relating to, consisting of, or using an iamb or iambs
  2. (in Greek literature) denoting a type of satirical verse written in iambs
  1. a metrical foot, line, or stanza of verse consisting of iambs
  2. a type of ancient Greek satirical verse written in iambs
Derived Formsiambically, adverb
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 iambic

1570s (n.); 1580s (adj.), from Latin iambicus, from Greek iambikos, from iambos "metrical foot of one unaccented followed by one accented syllable," from iaptein "to assail" (in words), literally "to put forth." The meter of invective and lampoon in classical Greek from the time it was used for such by Archilochos, 7c. B.C.E.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper