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View synonyms for dactyl

dactyl

1

[ dak-til ]

noun

  1. Prosody. a foot of three syllables, one long followed by two short in quantitative meter, or one stressed followed by two unstressed in accentual meter, as in gently and humanly. :
  2. a finger or toe.


Dactyl

2
or Dak·tyl

[ dak-til ]

noun

, Classical Mythology.
, plural Dac·tyls, Dac·tyl·i [dak, -ti-lahy].
  1. any of a number of beings dwelling on Mount Ida and working as metalworkers and magicians.

-dactyl

3
  1. variant of -dactylous, especially with nouns:

    pterodactyl.

dactyl

/ ˈdæktɪl /

noun

  1. Also calleddactylic prosody a metrical foot of three syllables, one long followed by two short ( ) Compare bacchius
  2. zoology any digit of a vertebrate


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Word History and Origins

Origin of dactyl1

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin dactylus < Greek dáktylos finger, a dactyl, referring to the three joints of the finger

Origin of dactyl2

< Greek Dáktyloi ( Idaîoi ) (Idaean) craftsmen or wizards (plural of dáktylos; dactyl )

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Word History and Origins

Origin of dactyl1

C14: via Latin from Greek daktulos finger, dactyl, comparing the finger's three joints to the three syllables

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Example Sentences

A Dactyl is a three-syllable foot accented on the first syllable.

It will be noted that the dactyl is very closely related in expression to the trochee, and the anapest to the iambic.

The proceleusmatic foot, or four short syllables, instead of the dactyl; scen.

This foot, consisting of one accented syllable, followed by two unaccented syllables, is called a dactyl.

The Dactyl, a foot of three syllables, the first long and the two last short, is used principally in the first place in the line.

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Words That Use -dactyl

What does -dactyl mean?

The combining form -dactyl is used like a suffix with two related meanings. Depending on the context, it can mean “fingered, possessing fingers” or “toed, possessing toes.” Essentially, -dactyl means “having digits.” It is occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in anatomy and zoology.

The form -dactyl comes from Greek dáktylos, meaning “finger” or “toe.” In poetry, the metrical foot known as a dactyl also derives from this same Greek root. Learn more at our entry for dactyl.

What are variants of –dactyl?

The form -dactyl is a variant of -dactylous, as in tetradactylous.

While not a variant of –dactyl, -dactyly is also related to this form. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article for these combining forms.

Examples of -dactyl

A scientific term that features the form -dactyl is tridactyl, “having three fingers or toes, as certain reptiles.”

The form tri- means “three,” from Greek treîs. As we have already seen, -dactyl means “possessing digits.” Tridactyl literally translates to “having three digits.”

What are some words that use the combining form –dactyl?

What are some other forms that -dactyl may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form tetra- means “four.” With this in mind, what does tetradactyl mean?

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