Definitions

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

  • adj. Consisting of iambs or characterized by their predominance: iambic pentameter.
  • n. An iamb.
  • n. A verse, stanza, or poem written in iambs. Often used in the plural.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Consisting of iambs or characterized by their predominance
  • n. An iamb; A line or group of lines of iambs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Consisting of a short syllable followed by a long one, or of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented.
  • adj. Pertaining to, or composed of, iambics
  • n.
  • n. An iambic foot; an iambus.
  • n. A verse composed of iambic feet.
  • n. A satirical poem (such poems having been anciently written in iambic verse); a satire; a lampoon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to the iambus; employing iambics: as, iambic meter; an iambic poet.
  • Consisting of an iambus, or of iambics: as, an iambic foot; an iambic verse or poem.
  • n. In prosody: Same as iambus
  • n. Averse or metrical period consisting of iambi.

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

  • adj. of or consisting of iambs
  • n. a verse line consisting of iambs

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek ἰαμβικός. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In this poem the feet are iambic and there are four of them, consequently we name the meter of this poem _iambic tetrameter_.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7

  • "The twilight hours like birds flew by," is made up of four iambic feet, and is therefore an _iambic tetrameter_.

    Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism

  • But I hope it shows that what we call iambic pentameter is really, if you count the rest the way you must count it, a kind of slow waltz rhythm.

    THE ANTHOLOGIST

  • When you've got a couple of top-five New York Times best sellers under your belt and you want to do a five hundred page exploration of terrorism in iambic pentameter, go for it.

    An Interview with Kyle Mills

  • In your graduate studies, did you find out why most of her poetry was written in iambic tetrameter?

    vivace - French Word-A-Day

  • A poem of 14 lines in iambic pentameter, which follows the rhyme scheme abab cdcd efefgg.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » The Lawyer-Poet

  • I also left wanting to speak extemporaneously in iambic pentameter, but that is Shagspeare's fault.

    Macbeth

  • Written in iambic tetrameter, it is better known today by the title “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

    2008 December 10 « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • His “November” is a quiet poem, written in iambic meter – the closest to natural speech – instead of high-stepping anapests and dactyls.

    2008 November 01 « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • Updike writes in iambic meter – the closest to natural speech – instead of the galloping anapests and dactyls so often found in rhymes for the very young.

    2008 November « One-Minute Book Reviews

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