Definition of anapaest noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

anapaest

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˈænəpiːst//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈænəpiːst//
 
; BrE BrE//ˈænəpest//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈænəpest//
 
(British English)(North American English anapest
BrE BrE//ˈænəpest//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈænəpest//
 
)
(specialist) Poetry
 
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a unit of sound in poetry consisting of two weak or short syllables followed by one strong or long syllable See related entries: Poetry Word Origin late 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek anapaistos ‘reversed’, from ana- ‘back’ + paiein ‘strike’ (because it is the reverse of a dactyl, a type of metrical foot with one stressed or long syllable, followed by two unstressed or short syllables).