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late 14c., "metrical foot consisting of two long syllables," from Old French spondee, from Latin spondeus, from Greek spondeios (pous), the name of the meter originally used in chants accompanying libations, from sponde "solemn libation," related to spendein "make a drink offering," from PIE root *spend- "to make an offering, perform a rite," hence "to engage oneself by a ritual act" (cf. Latin spondere "to engage oneself, promise," Hittite shipantahhi "I pour out a libation, I sacrifice").
spondee spon·dee (spŏn'dē')
A word or metrical foot having two equally stressed syllables, used in testing speech and hearing.
metrical foot consisting of two long (as in classical verse) or stressed (as in English verse) syllables occurring together. The term was derived from a Greek word describing the two long musical notes that accompanied the pouring of a libation. Spondaic metre occurred occasionally in classical verse. It does not, however, form the basis for any English verse, as there are virtually no English words in which syllables receive equal stress. An approximation of a spondaic foot is sometimes achieved with such compounds as "heyday" or "childhood," but even these words can be seen as examples of primary and secondary stress rather than equal stress. In English verse, the spondaic foot is usually composed of two monosyllables. It is frequently used as an introductory variation in a line of iambic metre, such as: