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



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 Originlate 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).