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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n anapest a metrical unit with unstressed-unstressed-stressed syllables
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Anapest (Pros) A metrical foot consisting of three syllables, the first two short, or unaccented, the last long, or accented (˘ ˘ -); the reverse of the dactyl. In Latin dĕ-ĭ-tās, and in English in-ter-vene", are examples of anapests.
    • Anapest A verse composed of such feet.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n anapest In prosody, a foot consisting of three syllables, the first two short or unaccented, the last long or accented: the reverse of the dactyl.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Anapest (in verse) a foot consisting of three syllables, two short and the third long, or (in Eng.) two unaccented and the third accented, as colonnadé—a familiar example of a poem in this metre is Byron's Destruction of Sennacherib
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. anapaestus, Gr. an anapest, i.e., a dactyl reserved, or, as it were, struck back,; fr. ; back + to strike
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. anapaistos, reversed, because it is the dactyl reversed.


In literature:

The measure of the song is anapestic (that is, with the accent on every third syllable), with modifications.
"The Lady of the Lake" by Sir Walter Scott
His viking code, with its swift anapestic rhythm, has a breezy melody which sings in the ear.
"Essays on Scandinavian Literature" by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
Perfect anapests, like perfect dactyls, are comparatively few in English.
"The Principles of English Versification" by Paull Franklin Baum
His heart was in the diphthong and anapest.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13" by Elbert Hubbard
But Voltaire now quit the anapest and dactyl and devoted his best hours to taking fencing lessons.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8" by Elbert Hubbard
In like manner we have anapestic lines of all lengths from monometer to hexameter.
"Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism" by F. V. N. Painter
Technically the poem is anapestic tetrameter much varied by the introduction of iambic feet.
"Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10" by Charles Herbert Sylvester
It is anapestic, in tetrameters and trimeters.
"English: Composition and Literature" by W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
That god dwelled in ivory and anapests.
"The Lords of the Ghostland" by Edgar Saltus
Virgilius Mars wrote in hexameters; Horatius Flaccus in alcaic, sapphic, and anapestic verse.
"The Green Book" by Mór Jókai
It will be noted that the dactyl is very closely related in expression to the trochee, and the anapest to the iambic.
"Browning and the Dramatic Monologue" by S. S. Curry

In poetry:

Myrtie, my notion of no one to write about
Seems to be any one other than you;
Therefore, Myrtilla, I'm penning to-night about
Twelve anapestic good verses and true.
"Notions" by Franklin Pierce Adams
Now pray don't be frightened--I 'm ready to stop
My galloping anapests' clatter and pop--
In fact, if you say so, retire from to-day
To the garret I left, on a poet's half-pay.
"The Smiling Listener" by Oliver Wendell Holmes