- a metrical foot consisting, in Greek and Latin verse, of one long syllable followed by two short ones, or, as in English verse, of one accented syllable followed by two unaccented ones (Ex.: “táke h?r ?p | ténd?rl?”)
- Zool. a finger or toe
Origin of dactylMiddle English dactil ; from Classical Latin dactylus ; from Classical Greek daktylos, a finger or (by analogy with the three joints of a finger) a dactyl
- a. A metrical foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by two unaccented, as in flattery.b. A metrical foot in quantitative verse consisting of one long syllable followed by two short syllables.
- A finger, toe, or similar part or structure; a digit.
Origin of dactylMiddle English dactil, from Latin dactylus, from Greek daktulos, finger, toe, dactyl (the three syllables of a dactyl being likened to the three phalanges of a finger ).
Origin of -dactylFrom Greek daktulos, finger, toe.
- A poetical foot of three syllables (— ~ ~), one long followed by two short, or one accented followed by two unaccented.
From Ancient Greek δάκτυλος (daktulos, “a finger”), three bones of the finger corresponding to three syllables.
- Alternative form of dactylo-.