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or anapaest

[an-uh-pest] /ˈæn əˌpɛst/
noun, Prosody.
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.
Origin of anapest
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for anapaest


/ˈænəpɛst; -piːst/
(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



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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