Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A metrical foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, as in delay.
  • noun A metrical foot in quantitative verse composed of a short syllable followed by a long one.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as iambus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun rare An iambus or iambic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A metrical foot in verse consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

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

  • noun a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables

Etymologies

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

[French iambe, from Latin iambus, from Greek iambos.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French iambe, from Latin iambus.

Examples

  • The "iamb" series makes visual reference to Josef Strau, an artist who uses lamps in his sculptures, and with whom Ms.

    NYT > Home Page

  • And you can flip around an iamb so that the line begins with a little triplet, or an eighth note and a sixteenth note, which happens a lot—as in “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.”

    THE ANTHOLOGIST

  • And you can flip around an iamb so that the line begins with a little triplet, or an eighth note and a sixteenth note, which happens a lot—as in “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.”

    THE ANTHOLOGIST

  • You can change an initial trochee to an iamb by adding an “And” or an “O.”

    THE ANTHOLOGIST

  • With a polished iamb, trochee, dactyl, amphibrach and anapest.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • You can change an initial trochee to an iamb by adding an “And” or an “O.”

    THE ANTHOLOGIST

  • The widow and her children went home without so much as an iamb.

    The Friday Fillip — Slaw

  • In Shakespeare's day the groundlings were a lot more unruly, and you could say that that actress wasn't being sincere or true to her Shakespearean traditions, taking umbrage at a harmless bit of tom foolery that wouldn't have caused Richard Burbage to drop so much as a single iamb from To be, or not to be.

    Lance Mannion:

  • In Shakespeare's day the groundlings were a lot more unruly, and you could say that that actress wasn't being sincere or true to her Shakespearean traditions, taking umbrage at a harmless bit of tom foolery that wouldn't have caused Richard Burbage to drop so much as a single iamb from To be, or not to be.

    Miles of aisles

  • Which would make it a spondee and an iamb, I guess.

    languagehat.com: CHOIRS/QUIRES.

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