anapest

anapest

[an-uh-pest]
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.


Origin:
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
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World English Dictionary
anapaest or anapest (ˈænəpɛst, -piːst, ˈænəpɛst, -piːst)
 
n
prosody a metrical foot of three syllables, the first two short, the last long (⏕)
 
[C17: via Latin from Greek anapaistos reversed (that is, a dactyl reversed), from anapaiein, from ana- back + paiein to strike]
 
anapest or anapest
 
n
 
[C17: via Latin from Greek anapaistos reversed (that is, a dactyl reversed), from anapaiein, from ana- back + paiein to strike]
 
ana'paestic or anapest
 
adj
 
ana'pestic or anapest
 
adj

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Word Origin & History

anapest
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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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

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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