A kind of metrical foot. A dactyl is a
stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables: for
example, "Canada," "holiday," "camouflage." (The name comes
from the Greek for "finger" as in pterodactyl,
"winged-finger" and you can remember the pattern by thinking
of the three joints in a finger: long, short, short.)
Because a dactyl has three syllables, it's called a triple meter.
Classical epic poems were traditionally written in
both Greek and Latin in dactyllic hexameter.
From the Guide to Literary Terms by Jack Lynch.
Please send comments to Jack Lynch.
Note: This guide is still in the early stages of development.
Three question marks mean I have to write more on the subject. Bear with me.