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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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).