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dactyl

[dak-til]
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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. Symbol:
  2. a finger or toe.
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Origin of dactyl

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

Dactyl

or Dak·tyl

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

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

dactylo-

  1. a combining form meaning “finger,” “toe,” used in the formation of compound words: dactylomegaly.
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Also dactyl-.

Origin of dactylo-

< Greek, combining form representing dáktylos finger, toe

-dactyl

  1. variant of -dactylous, especially with nouns: pterodactyl.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

appendagedigitdactylphalangesphalanx

Examples from the Web for dactyl

Historical Examples

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

    Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism

    F. V. N. Painter

  • Pain is always by the side of joy, the spondee by the dactyl.

  • The letters “v v v” indicate that the dactyl at the beginning of the line has been dropped.

  • There is a similar contrast in the cases of the dactyl and anapæst.

  • But in all the feet except the fifth, a spondee ( ) may take the place of the dactyl.

    New Latin Grammar

    Charles E. Bennett


British Dictionary definitions for dactyl

dactyl

noun
  1. Also called: dactylic 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 Origin

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

dactylo-

before a vowel dactyl-

combining form
  1. finger or toedactylogram
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Word Origin

from Greek daktulos finger
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 dactyl

n.

metrical foot, late 14c., from Greek dactylos, literally "finger" (also "toe"), of unknown origin; the metrical use (a long syllable followed by two short ones) is by analogy with the three joints of a finger.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dactyl in Medicine

dactyl

(dăktəl)
n.
  1. A finger or toe; digit.
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dactylo-

pref.
  1. Digit:dactylomegaly.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.