anapest definition by Webster's New World
- a metrical foot consisting, in Greek and Latin verse, of two short syllables followed by a long one, or, as in English, of two unaccented syllables followed by an accented one
- a line of verse made up of such feet (Ex.: “Ănd thĕ shéen | ŏf thĕir spéars | wăs lĭke stárs | ŏn thĕ séa”)
Origin: Classical Latin anapaestus ; from Classical Greek anapaistos ; from ana-, back plush paiein, to strike: so called from reversing the dactyl
anapest definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A metrical foot composed of two short syllables followed by one long one, as in the word seventeen.
- A line of verse using this meter; for example, “’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house” (Clement Clarke Moore).
Origin: Latin anapaestus, from Greek anapaistos : ana-, ana- + paiein, pais-, to strike (so called because an anapest is a reversed dactyl); see pau-2 in Indo-European roots.
- anˌa·pesˈtic adjective