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anapest

or an·a·paest

[an-uh-pest]
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noun Prosody.
  1. 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.
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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 formsan·a·pes·tic, an·a·paes·tic, adjectivean·a·pes·ti·cal·ly, an·a·paes·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for anapaest

Historical Examples

  • "Home," by Margaret Mahon, is a poem in that rather popular modern measure which seems to waver betwixt the iambus and anapaest.

    Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922

    Howard Phillips Lovecraft

  • Again, I should say, anapaestic—but this anapaest and amphibrach quarrel is ἄσπονδος.


British Dictionary definitions for anapaest

anapaest

anapest

noun
  1. prosody a metrical foot of three syllables, the first two short, the last long (◡ ◡ –)
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Derived Formsanapaestic or anapestic, adjective

Word Origin

C17: via Latin from Greek anapaistos reversed (that is, a dactyl reversed), from anapaiein, from ana- back + paiein to strike
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 anapaest

anapest

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper