Glossary of Literary Terms and Devices



Trochee: two syllables; stressed syllable followed by unstressed syllable (/ ˘)

TROCHAIC: / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘

Anapest: three syllables; light, light, heavy (˘ ˘ /)

ANAPESTIC: ˘ ˘ / ˘ ˘ / ˘ ˘ / ˘ ˘ / ˘ ˘ /

Dactyl: three syllables; heavy, light, light (/ ˘ ˘)

DACTYLIC: / ˘ ˘ / ˘ ˘ / ˘ ˘ / ˘ ˘ / ˘ ˘

Monometer: line of one metrical foot

Dimeter: line of two metrical feet

Trimeter: line of three metrical feet

Tetrameter: line of four metrical feet

Pentameter: line of five metrical feet

Hexameter (Alexandrine): line of six metrical feet

Heptameter: line of seven metrical feet

Octameter: line of eight metrical feet

Amphibrach: three syllables; light stress, heavy stress, light stress (˘ / ˘)

Amphimacer: three syllables; heavy, light, heavy (/ ˘ /)

Anacrusis: extra unstressed syllable at beginning of line before beginning regular meter

Bacchic: three syllables; light, heavy, heavy (˘ / /)

Catalexis: omitted syllable(s) at end

Feminine Ending: extra unstressed syllable at end of line

Imperfect Foot: foot consisting of a single syllable, either stressed or unstressed

Pyrrhic: two unstressed syllables

Truncation: omitted syllables at beginning

Spondee: two successive, heavily stressed syllables

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