Definition of spondee in English:



  • A foot consisting of two long (or stressed) syllables.

    • ‘The ominous tone maintained throughout the poem is reinforced by the spondees that open and close the last line.’
    • ‘His formula for modern heroic verse, proclaimed up front in the essay, was, in short: more dactyls than trochees, and more trochees than spondees.’
    • ‘And if counting the spondees in the dactyls might have distracted me from what the words were saying (it didn't), wondering about the parenthetical insertions pulled me back in.’
    • ‘The forceful spondees convey the inevitability of her intentions.’
    • ‘Thus in the last stanza quoted, after the surge of anapaests in the first two lines, spondees, dactyls, and iambs begin to appear.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or via Latin from Greek spondeios (pous) ‘(foot) of a libation’, from spondē ‘libation’ (being characteristic of music accompanying libations).