[ ahy-am, ahy-amb ]
/ ˈaɪ æm, ˈaɪ æmb /

noun Prosody.

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.

Nearby words

  1. iaea,
  2. iaf,
  3. iago,
  4. ialysus,
  5. iamaw,
  6. iambic,
  7. iambic pentameter,
  8. iambus,
  9. ian,
  10. iap

Origin of iamb

First recorded in 1835–45; short for iambus

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for iamb

British Dictionary definitions for iamb


iambus (aɪˈæmbəs)

/ (ˈaɪæm, ˈaɪæmb) /

noun plural iambs, iambi (aɪˈæmbaɪ) or iambuses prosody

a metrical foot consisting of two syllables, a short one followed by a long one (◡ –)
a line of verse of such feet

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper