Dactyl

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.
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Note: This guide is still in the early stages of development.
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