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

  • n. A poetic rhythm designed to imitate the rhythm of speech, in which each foot has one stressed syllable, either standing alone or followed by a varying number of unstressed syllables.

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

  • n. a poetic rhythm that imitates the rhythm of speech


Coined by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


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