See more synonyms for dactyl on Thesaurus.com
  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.

Origin of dactyl

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


or Dak·tyl

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.

Origin of Dactyl

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


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

Origin of dactylo-

< Greek, combining form representing dáktylos finger, toe


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

Related Words for dactyl

appendage, digit, dactyl, phalanges, phalanx

Examples from the Web for dactyl

Historical Examples of dactyl

British Dictionary definitions for dactyl


  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

Word Origin for dactyl

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


before a vowel dactyl-

combining form
  1. finger or toedactylogram

Word Origin for dactylo-

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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dactyl in Medicine


  1. A finger or toe; digit.


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