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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n iambus a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Iambus (Pros) A foot consisting of a short syllable followed by a long one, as in ămāns , or of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one, as invent; an iambic. See the Couplet under Iambic n.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n iambus In prosody, a foot of two syllables, the first short or unaccented and the second long or accented. The iambus of modern or accentual versification consists of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one, without regard to the relative time taken in pronouncing the two syllables. Thus in English verse the words ălīght' dīlāte', ēmīt', ăbĕt' would all be treated as iambi, while on the principles of ancient prosody the first of these words would be an iambus, but the second a spondee (an anapestic spondee, ), the third a trochee, and the last a pyrrhic. The iambus of Greek and Latin poetry () is quantitative, and as the first syllable is short, and the second being long is equal to two shorts, the whole foot has a magnitude of three shorts (is trisemic). Also called iamb, iambic.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Iambus ī-am′bus a metrical foot of two syllables, the first short and the second long, as in L. fĭdēs; or the first unaccented and the second accented, as in deduce—also Iamb′
    • n Iambus iambus
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. iambus, Gr. ; prob. akin to to throw, assail (the iambus being first used in satiric poetry), and to L. jacere, to throw. Cf. Jet a shooting forth


In literature:

In place of the Iambus, a Tribrach ( v v v ) may stand in any foot but the last.
"New Latin Grammar" by Charles E. Bennett
His imagination is too bold to be confined by the petty limits of trochee or iambus.
"Continental Monthly, Vol I, Issue I, January 1862" by Various
As has already been said, the iambus is the common foot of English verse.
"English: Composition and Literature" by W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
It was not by chance that the line of five iambuses became the dominant metre of our language.
"Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922" by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
But others say that Torrhebus first used that mode, as Dionysius the Iambus relates.
"The Modes of Ancient Greek Music" by David Binning Monro