Definition of iambic pentameter in English:

iambic pentameter


  • A line of verse with five metrical feet, each consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable, for example Two households, both alike in dignity.

    • ‘In a series of short chapters he offers a witty masterclass in poetic composition, leading from the general—the training of the poet, where music and poetry divide—to more specific topics, such as the sonnet, free verse, and the iambic pentameter.’
    • ‘They began writing in iambic pentameter, or in some other "respectable" verse form.’
    • ‘Most people would agree that great art transcends technique—which is related to saying that you can learn to write pretty good iambic pentameter, but you can't learn to be Elizabeth Bishop.’
    • ‘The iambic pentameter of Shakespeare's sonnets mimics the beat of the human heart.’
    • ‘The movie drifts in and out of fantasy worlds, where hustlers speak in iambic pentameter or hop on a plane to Rome without any thought of passports.’
    • ‘He'll use inversion to satisfy the meter, as in an iambic pentameter poem when he speaks of "a leash of ribbon."’
    • ‘It was translated into English iambic pentameter with rhymed couplets.’
    • ‘Actors interpreting Shakespeare's iambic pentameter invent their own characteristic mixture of the formal and conversational to produce what we hear onstage.’
    • ‘The entire film is in iambic pentameter, and the rhyming patterns are wonderful.’
    • ‘The iambic pentameter in Elizabethan verse is so deep and rich in its poetry.’