Definition of common metre in English:

common metre

noun

mass noun
  • A metrical pattern for hymns in which the stanzas have four lines containing eight and six syllables alternately.

    • ‘The Psalms of King David paraphrased and turned into English verse according to the common metre as they are usually sung in parish-churches’
    • ‘He also briefly relates the poem's metre to the hymn tradition, deciding that it mimics the standard common metre.’
    • ‘Shakespeare referred to common meter in Midsummer Night's Dream as ‘eight-and-six,’ which is a description of the number of syllables in the odd and even lines.’
    • ‘They used Rouse's metrical version, in which all the psalms are rendered in common metre, except the one hundredth which is long metre.’
    • ‘And even Psalm 136, the one Psalm not in common metre, can be sung to any common metre tune, as it adds only one extra syllable to the end of ever second line.’