Origin of dactyl
Other definitions for dactyl (2 of 3)
Origin of Dactyl
Other definitions for dactyl (3 of 3)
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?
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?
How to use dactyl in a sentence
A Dactyl is a three-syllable foot accented on the first syllable.English: Composition and Literature|W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
It will be noted that the dactyl is very closely related in expression to the trochee, and the anapest to the iambic.Browning and the Dramatic Monologue|S. S. Curry
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.Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism|F. V. N. Painter
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.Dissertation on the English Language|Noah Webster, Jr.