Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Variant of iamb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an iamb

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A foot consisting of a short syllable followed by a long one, as in ămāns, or of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one, as invent; an iambic. See the Couplet under iambic, n.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In prosody, a foot of two syllables, the first short or unaccented and the second long or accented.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables

Etymologies

From Greek ἴαμβος "a poetic meter". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That verse wherein the accent is on the even syllables may be called even or parisyllabic verse, and corresponds with what has been called iambic verse; retaining the term iambus for the name of the foot we shall thereby mean an unaccented and an accented syllable.

    Miscellany

  • As has already been said, the iambus is the common foot of English verse.

    English: Composition and Literature

  • Only we must be careful that by "iambus," in English poetry, we _meant_ an unstressed syllable, rather than a short syllable followed by a long one.

    A Study of Poetry

  • /'And YET' /is a complete 'iambus'; but 'anyet' is, like 'spirit', a dibrach u u, trocheized, however, by the 'arsis' or first accent damping, though not extinguishing, the second.

    Literary Remains, Volume 2

  • Or young Apollo's; and yet, after this, &c. '/They would HAzard/' [1] -- furnishes an anapæst for an 'iambus'.

    Literary Remains, Volume 2

  • He could make Greek iambics, and doubted whether the bishop knew the difference between an iambus and a trochee.

    The Last Chronicle of Barset

  • It is a decasyllabic line, with a trochee substituted for an iambus in the third foot — Around: me gleamed: many a: bright se: pulchre.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • In order to deal with English verse, you need to talk about only five feet: the iambus, the trochee, the anapaest, the dactyl, and the spondee.

    The Strange Case of Pushkin and Nabokov

  • This influence of the chief accent affects also combinations of two monosyllabic words which make an iambus, and combinations like _ego illi_, _age ergo_, in which the second syllable of the second word is elided.

    The Student's Companion to Latin Authors

  • And yet the first makes a _iambus_, and the second a _trocheus_ ech sillable retayning still his former quantities.

    The Arte of English Poesie

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