from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A rhythm of which the unit is trimembral; dactylic or anapestic rhythm.
- noun A bimembral, iambic or trochaic, rhythm as estimated in terms of time (one long syllable = two short syllables).
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Hence, the dactyl introduced into an iambic or trochaic verse, which, so far as concerns mere number of elements, tends to be extended, may, in virtue of its characteristic lack of accentuation and significance, be contracted below the value of the prevailing three-rhythm.