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[ahy-am, ahy-amb] /ˈaɪ æm, ˈaɪ æmb/
noun, Prosody
a foot of two syllables, a short followed by a long in quantitative meter, or an unstressed followed by a stressed in accentual meter, as in Come live / with me / and be / my love.
Origin of iamb
1835-45; short for iambus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for iamb


/ˈaɪæm; ˈaɪæmb/
noun (prosody) (pl) iambs, iambi (aɪˈæmbaɪ), iambuses
a metrical foot consisting of two syllables, a short one followed by a long one (◡ –)
a line of verse of such feet
Word Origin
C19 iamb, from C16 iambus, from Latin, from Greek iambos
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for iamb

1842, from French iambe (16c.), from Latin iambus, from Greek iambos (see iambic). Iambus itself was used in English in this sense in 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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