Definition of galliambic in English:



  • Relating to or written in a metre consisting of two catalectic iambic dimeters.

    • ‘It was even more casual than Bosov and Catherine's, and even more beautiful: by torchlight, in the sacred grove, at the rising of the moon, with soft drumming to galliambic meter in the background.’
    • ‘The heart of the poetic orchestration is the galliambic meter, a verse form named after the priests of Cybele - the Galli/ae - and designed to represent the frenetic nature of the worship of the Phrygian mother-goddess.’


usually galliambics
  • Galliambic verse.

    • ‘In Catullus, he sets himself a new and fascinating challenge: he tries to imitate in English all Catullus's meters - sapphics, hendecasyllabics, iambics, choliambics, even galliambics.’
    • ‘As they began to sing Latin galliambics, passing the words from high to low voices through a quite beautiful harmony, the actor stepped forward and donned the mask of Attis.’
    • ‘What do I do if I see in a footnote that the original Latin is in glyconic strophes or galliambics?’
    • ‘The introductory 11 verses end with 6 standard galliambics, setting off the two principle lines in the middle and their motifs as the most emphatic.’
    • ‘For the purpose of understanding English poetry, you can forget the dochmiac, and the molossus, and galliambics, and minor ionics and many other things that have names but no actual application.’


Mid 19th century: from Latin galliambus, a song of the Galli (name given to priests of Cybele) + -ic.