dactyl

[dak-til]
noun
1.
Prosody. a foot of three syllables, one long followed by two short in quantitative meter, or one stressed followed by two unstressed in accentual meter, as in gently and humanly. Symbol:
2.
a finger or toe.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin dactylus < Greek dáktylos finger, a dactyl, referring to the three joints of the finger

Dictionary.com Unabridged

Dactyl

[dak-til]
noun, plural Dactyls, Dactyli [dak-ti-lahy] . Classical Mythology.
any of a number of beings dwelling on Mount Ida and working as metalworkers and magicians.
Also, Daktyl.


Origin:
< Greek Dáktyloi (Idaîoi) (Idaean) craftsmen or wizards (plural of dáktylos; see dactyl)

-dactyl

variant of -dactylous, especially with nouns: pterodactyl.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
dactyl (ˈdæktɪl)
 
n
1.  prosody Compare bacchius Also called: dactylic a metrical foot of three syllables, one long followed by two short (⏔)
2.  zoology any digit of a vertebrate
 
[C14: via Latin from Greek daktulos finger, dactyl, comparing the finger's three joints to the three syllables]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dactyl
late 14c., from Gk. dactylos "finger," of unknown origin; the metrical use (a long syllable followed by two short ones) is by analogy with the three joints of a finger.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

dactyl dac·tyl (dāk'təl)
n.
A finger or toe; digit.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

dactyl

metrical foot consisting of one long (classical verse) or stressed (English verse) syllable followed by two short, or unstressed, syllables. Probably the oldest and most common metre in classical verse is the dactylic hexameter, the metre of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and of other ancient epics. Dactylic metres are fairly rare in English verse, one difficulty being that the prolonged use of the dactyl tends to distort normal word accent, giving the lines a jerky movement. They appeared with regularity only after poets like Robert Browning and Algernon Charles Swinburne successfully used the form in the 19th century. Dactylic rhythm produces a lilting movement as in the following example from Byron's Bride of Abydos:

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Sorrow is ever by the side of joy, the spondee beside the dactyl.
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