American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A metrical foot consisting of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable, as in season, or of a long syllable followed by a short syllable.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In prosody, a foot of two syllables, the first long or accented and the second short or unaccented. The trochee of modern or accentual versification consists of an accented followed by an unaccented syllable. The trochee of Greek and Latin poetry
consists of a long time or syllable, forming the thesis (or metrically accented part of the foot), succeeded by a short as arsis, and is accordingly trisemic and diplasic. Its resolved form is the (trochaic) tribrach . In the even places of a trochaic line an irrational trochee or spondee is frequently substituted for the normal trochee , as also in the so-called “basis” of logaœdic verse. The irrational trochee may take an apparently anapestic form . This foot receives its names of trochee (running) and choree or choreus (dancing) from its rapid movement and fitness to accompany dances.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Pros.) A foot of two syllables, the first long and the second short, as in the Latin word
ante, or the first accented and the second unaccented, as in the English word motion; a choreus.
- n. a metrical unit with stressed-unstressed syllables
- French trochée, from Latin trochaeus, from Greek trokhaios, from trokhos, a running, from trekhein, to run. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“But he calls a trochee, which occupies the same time as a choreus, [Greek: kordax], because its contracted and brief character is devoid of dignity.”
“Who knew, for instance, that iambs an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one make feminine-sounding names, such as Chanel, while the reverse—called a trochee—has the masculine sound of Black & Decker?”
“trochee," "dactyl," "anapest" and the rest; if we knew that accent and not quantity was what we really had in mind, it was proper enough to speak of _Paradise Lost_ as written in "iambic pentameter," and _Evangeline_ in”
“Of course the 'trochee trochee dactyl trochee trochee pattern is only the vaguest approximation of quantitative metrics, but it nonetheless imposes (lyrical or playful) exigencies on the language of the poem that lead, in the best of cases, to discovery, directions to the poem unexpected even to the poet.”
“Two dactyls, two trochees per line, if you count the first syllable of each line as a pickup held over from the last trochee.”
“The careful reader may trace the junctures of sound and sense in the poem's stanza structure: here, for example, we first stop short on the hexasyllabic line, "Stop here, or gently pass," our progress further impeded by its opening trochee.”
“You can change an initial trochee to an iamb by adding an “And” or an “O.””
“With a polished iamb, trochee, dactyl, amphibrach and anapest.”
“Maybe the second line of “Mending Wall” would be an even better example – that “swell” pushing up in its “un” - stressed position – (it is after all not uncommon to start a traditional ip line with a trochee.)”
“The chapter then proceeds to consider the four most common metrical patterns: in relative order of importance, the iambic, the anapest, the trochee and the dactyl.”
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Words gathered while reading Pale Fire.
By David Foster Wallace
but now they're not because I looked them up. In cases of polysemy or homography, *of course* it was the oddest meaning that stumped me. ;)
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