• synonyms


or an·a·paest

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 anapest

Historical Examples of anapest

  • This foot, which is the opposite of the dactyl, is known as the anapest.

    Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism

    F. V. N. Painter

  • Anapest” comes from a Greek verb which means “strike back”; an anapest is a reversed dactyl.

  • Where arm in arm two dancers are entwined,And whirl themselves with strict embracements bound,their feet an anapest do sound.

    The Lancashire Witches

    William Harrison Ainsworth

  • But Voltaire now quit the anapest and dactyl and devoted his best hours to taking fencing lessons.

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

Word Origin and History for anapest


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