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anapest

[an-uh-pest] /ˈæn əˌpɛst/
noun, Prosody
1.
a foot of three syllables, two short followed by one long in quantitative meter, and two unstressed followed by one stressed in accentual meter, as in for the nonce.
Also, anapaest.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Latin anapaestus < Greek anápaistos struck back, reversed (as compared with a dactyl), equivalent to ana- ana- + pais- (variant stem of paíein to strike) + -tos past participle suffix
Related forms
anapestic, anapaestic, adjective
anapestically, anapaestically, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for anapaest

anapaest

/ˈænəpɛst; -piːst/
noun
1.
(prosody) a metrical foot of three syllables, the first two short, the last long (◡ ◡ –)
Derived Forms
anapaestic, anapestic, adjective
Word Origin
C17: via Latin from Greek anapaistos reversed (that is, a dactyl reversed), from anapaiein, from ana- back + paiein to strike
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for anapaest

anapest

n.

also anapaest, "two short syllables followed by a long one," 1670s, from Latin anapestus, from Greek anapaistos "struck back, rebounding," verbal adjective from anapaiein "to strike back," from ana- "back" (see ana-) + paiein "to strike," from PIE *pau- "to cut, strike, stamp" (see pave). So called because it reverses the dactyl.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for anapaest

anapest

metrical foot consisting of two short or unstressed syllables followed by one long or stressed syllable. First found in early Spartan marching songs, anapestic metres were widely used in Greek and Latin dramatic verse, especially for the entrance and exit of the chorus. Lines composed primarily of anapestic feet, often with an additional unstressed syllable at the end of the first line, are much rarer in English verse. Because of its jog-trot rhythm, pure anapestic metre was originally used only in light or popular English verse, but after the 18th century it appeared in serious poetry. Byron used it effectively to convey a sense of excitement and galloping in "The Destruction of Sennacherib":

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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