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[spon-dee] /ˈspɒn di/
noun, Prosody
a foot of two syllables, both of which are long in quantitative meter or stressed in accentual meter. Symbol: .
1350-1400; Middle English sponde < Latin spondēus < Greek spondeîos, derivative of spondḗ libation Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spondee
  • Sorrow is ever by the side of joy, the spondee beside the dactyl.
  • Released the way a spondee-struck sound is meant to be given and given.
British Dictionary definitions for spondee


(prosody) a metrical foot consisting of two long syllables (– –)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French spondée, from Latin spondēus, from Greek spondeios, from spondē a ritual libation; from the use of spondee in the music that characteristically accompanied such ceremonies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for spondee

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").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spondee in Medicine

spondee spon·dee (spŏn'dē')
A word or metrical foot having two equally stressed syllables, used in testing speech and hearing.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for spondee

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:

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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