• synonyms


  1. a dactylic line of six feet, as in Greek and Latin epic poetry, in which the first four feet are dactyls or spondees, the fifth is ordinarily a dactyl, and the last is a trochee or spondee, with a caesura usually following the long syllable in the third foot.
  2. any line of verse in six feet, as in English poetry.
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  1. consisting of six metrical feet.
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Origin of hexameter

1540–50; < Latin < Greek hexámetros of six measures, equivalent to hexa- hexa- + métr(on) measure + -os adj. suffix
Related formshex·a·met·ric [hek-suh-me-trik] /ˌhɛk səˈmɛ trɪk/, hex·a·met·ri·cal, hex·am·e·tral, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hexameter

Historical Examples of hexameter

  • The hexameter in poetry is a measure having six poetic feet to the line.


    Elmer W. Cavins

  • And, as a further favour, finish the hexameter in this epigram?

  • Were his friends in the habit of talking in hexameter verse?


    Arthur Machen

  • It wasnt exactly a hexameter nor yet an iambic mode of expression.

    Nothing But the Truth

    Frederic S. Isham

  • His best poem is an elaborate eulogy on Charlemagne, written in hexameter.

British Dictionary definitions for hexameter


noun prosody
  1. a verse line consisting of six metrical feet
  2. (in Greek and Latin epic poetry) a verse line of six metrical feet, of which the first four are usually dactyls or spondees, the fifth almost always a dactyl, and the sixth a spondee or trochee
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Derived Formshexametric (ˌhɛksəˈmɛtrɪk), hexametral or hexametrical, adjective
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 hexameter


1540s, from Latin hexameter, from Greek hexametros, from hex "six" (see hexa-) + metron "meter" (see meter (n.2)). As a noun from 1570s. Related: Hexametric.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper