Word of the Day

Friday, December 19, 2008

iambic

\ahy-AM-bik\ , adjective;
1.
of or consisting of iambic measures
noun:
1.
a foot or measure in poetry consisting of two syllables, an unaccented followed by an accented or a short syllable followed by a long
Quotes:
Besides, as Andrei Bely demonstrated 70 years ago, the melodic quality of Pushkin's meters derives from his variable pattern of withholding the metrical stress from positions where it would be expected in traditional Russian iambic tetrameter and pentameter.
-- Simon Karlinsky, New York Times, 9/26/1982
Los Pastores was old even when Shakespeare was counting out the iambic pentameter as he wrote Romeo's speeches. One historian claims that "Los Pastores" was passed on, word of mouth, from one generation to another, until 100 years ago.
-- Claire Martin, Denver Post, 12/3/2000
Origin:
by 1575, from Latin iambicus, from Greek iambikos, from iambos "metrical foot of one unaccented followed by one accented syllable," from iaptein "to assail" (in words); the meter of invective and lampoon in classical Greek from the time it was used for such by Archilochos, 7c. B.C.E.
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