|prosody a metrical foot consisting of two long syllables (––)|
|[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]|
metrical foot consisting of two long (as in classical verse) or stressed (as in English verse) syllables occurring together. The term was derived from a Greek word describing the two long musical notes that accompanied the pouring of a libation. Spondaic metre occurred occasionally in classical verse. It does not, however, form the basis for any English verse, as there are virtually no English words in which syllables receive equal stress. An approximation of a spondaic foot is sometimes achieved with such compounds as "heyday" or "childhood," but even these words can be seen as examples of primary and secondary stress rather than equal stress. In English verse, the spondaic foot is usually composed of two monosyllables. It is frequently used as an introductory variation in a line of iambic metre, such as:
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