Dactyl

/dak"til/, n., pl. Dactyls, Dactyli /-ti luy'/. Class. Myth.
any of a number of beings dwelling on Mount Ida and working as metalworkers and magicians.
Also, Daktyl.
[ < Gk Dáktyloi (Idaîoi) (Idaean) craftsmen or wizards (pl. of DÁKTYLOS; see DACTYL)]

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poetry
      metrical foot consisting of one long (classical verse) or stressed (English verse) syllable followed by two short, or unstressed, syllables. Probably the oldest and most common metre in classical verse is the dactylic hexameter, the metre of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and of other ancient epics. Dactylic metres are fairly rare in English verse, one difficulty being that the prolonged use of the dactyl tends to distort normal word accent, giving the lines a jerky movement. They appeared with regularity only after poets like Robert Browning and Algernon Charles Swinburne successfully used the form in the 19th century. Dactylic rhythm produces a lilting movement as in the following example from Byron's Bride of Abydos:

      This line contains the common variation of omitting an unstressed syllable at the end of a line.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dactyl — may refer to: Dactyl (mythology), a creature in Greek mythology Dactyl (poetry), a metrical foot consisting of one long syllable and two short Dactyl (moon), the small natural satellite orbiting the asteroid Ida Finger, in medical terminology,… …   Wikipedia

  • dactyl- — dactyl(o) , dactyle éléments, du gr. daktulos, doigt . ⇒DACTYL(O) , (DACTYL , DACTYLO )élément préf. Élément préf. tiré du gr. « doigt », entrant dans la compos. de mots savants dont certains sont devenus d emploi courant. I. Adjectif : dactylé,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • dactyl — dac tyl (d[a^]k t[i^]l), n. [L. dactylus, Gr. da ktylos a finger, a dactyl. Cf. {Digit}.] 1. (Pros.) A poetical foot of three sylables ( [crescent] [crescent]), one long followed by two short, or one accented followed by two unaccented; as, L. t[ …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dactyl — beschreibt einen Asteroidenmond, siehe Dactyl (Mond) eine Kreatur in der griechischen Mythologie, siehe Idäische Daktylen Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begri …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • dactyl — [dak′təl] n. [ME dactil < L dactylus < Gr daktylos, a finger or (by analogy with the three joints of a finger) a dactyl] 1. a metrical foot consisting, in Greek and Latin verse, of one long syllable followed by two short ones, or, as in… …   English World dictionary

  • Dactyl... — Dactyl... (v. gr. Daktylos, Finger), daher die folgenden Zusammensetzungen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • dactyl — (n.) metrical foot, late 14c., from Gk. dactylos, lit. finger (also toe ), of unknown origin; the metrical use (a long syllable followed by two short ones) is by analogy with the three joints of a finger …   Etymology dictionary

  • dactyl — ► NOUN Poetry ▪ a metrical foot consisting of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. DERIVATIVES dactylic adjective. ORIGIN Greek daktulos finger (the three bones of the finger corresponding to the three syllables) …   English terms dictionary

  • Dactyl —  Cet article concerne la lune astéroïdale. Pour les créatures mythologiques, voir Dactyles. Dactyl …   Wikipédia en Français

  • dactyl — /dak til/, n. 1. Pros. a foot of three syllables, one long followed by two short in quantitative meter, or one stressed followed by two unstressed in accentual meter, as in gently and humanly. 2. a finger or toe. [1350 1400; ME < L dactylus < Gk… …   Universalium

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