• synonyms


[ahy-am, ahy-amb]
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noun Prosody.
  1. a foot of two syllables, a short followed by a long in quantitative meter, or an unstressed followed by a stressed in accentual meter, as in Come live / with me / and be / my love.
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Origin of iamb

First recorded in 1835–45; short for iambus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for iamb

iamb, iambus

Examples from the Web for iamb

Historical Examples of iamb

  • They are both within the zone of the unaccented syllable of the iamb.

    Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1


  • Some, however, refer it to the supposed lop-sidedness or inequality of badgers' feet, answering to the ⏑— of the iamb.

  • Occasionally, however, and especially in the longer poems, the regular recurrence of the iamb is a little monotonous.

  • The group seems a sort of combination of the iamb and trochee, and has an element in every possible zone of the movement cycle.

  • The group seems an iamb with a duplicated unaccented syllable.

British Dictionary definitions for iamb


iambus (aɪˈæmbəs)

noun plural iambs, iambi (aɪˈæmbaɪ) or iambuses prosody
  1. a metrical foot consisting of two syllables, a short one followed by a long one (◡ –)
  2. a line of verse of such feet
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Word Origin for iamb

C19 iamb, from C16 iambus, from Latin, from Greek iambos
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 iamb


1842, from French iambe (16c.), from Latin iambus, from Greek iambos (see iambic). Iambus itself was used in English in this sense in 1580s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper