• synonyms


noun Prosody.
  1. a foot of two syllables, both of which are long in quantitative meter or stressed in accentual meter. Symbol:
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Origin of spondee

1350–1400; Middle English sponde < Latin spondēus < Greek spondeîos, derivative of spondḗ libation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spondee

Historical Examples of spondee

  • Spondee quoted a poem he had once written about Miss Dorothy.


    Christopher Morley

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

  • Now there is only here and there a word in the whole English language that is a spondee.

    The Last of the Flatboats

    George Cary Eggleston

  • There is, in fact, no such thing as a spondee in ordinary speech.

  • Spondee, who is a critic, is seldom out of this fine man's company.

British Dictionary definitions for spondee


  1. prosody a metrical foot consisting of two long syllables (– –)
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Word Origin for spondee

C14: from Old French spondée, from Latin spondēus, from Greek spondeios, from spondē a ritual libation; from the use of spondee in the music that characteristically accompanied such ceremonies
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 spondee


late 14c., "metrical foot consisting of two long syllables," from Old French spondee, from Latin spondeus, from Greek spondeios (pous), the name of the meter originally used in chants accompanying libations, from sponde "solemn libation," related to spendein "make a drink offering," from PIE root *spend- "to make an offering, perform a rite," hence "to engage oneself by a ritual act" (cf. Latin spondere "to engage oneself, promise," Hittite shipantahhi "I pour out a libation, I sacrifice").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

spondee in Medicine


  1. A word or metrical foot having two equally stressed syllables, used in testing speech and hearing.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.