Definitions

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

  • n. A line of verse consisting of five metrical feet.
  • n. English verse composed in iambic pentameter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A line in a poem having five metrical feet.
  • n. Poetic metre in which each line has five feet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having five metrical feet.
  • n. A verse of five feet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ancient prosody, a verse differing from the dactylic hexameter by suppression of the second half of the third and of the sixth foot; a dactylic dipenthemimeres or combination of two catalectic dactylic tripodies, thus:
  • n. The first half of the line ended almost without exception in a complete word and often with a pause in the sense. Spondees were excluded from the second half-line. The halves of the line often terminated in words of similar ending and emphasis, generally a noun and its attributive. This meter received its name from a false analysis of some ancient metricians, who explained it as consisting of two dactyls, a spondee, and two anapests.
  • Having five metrical feet: as, a pentameter verse.

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

  • n. a verse line having five metrical feet

Etymologies

Latin, from Greek pentametros : penta-, penta- + metron, measure; see meter1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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