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.
Also, anapaest.

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

anapestic, anapaestic, adjective
anapestically, anapaestically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

1670s, "two short syllables followed by a long one," from L. anapestus, from Gk. anapaistos "struck back, rebounding," verbal adj. from anapaiein "to strike back," from ana- "back" + paiein "to strike;" so called because it reverses the dactyl.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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