One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A line of verse consisting of three metrical feet.
- ‘The number of feet per line determines the metre of a poem: if a single line contains one foot, it is called monometer, two feet is diameter, three is trimeter, etc.’
- ‘She will slip from dactyls to iambics, pentameter to trimeter, quatrains to sestets.’
- ‘In this way of talking, the ballad stanza alternates tetrameters (four-foot lines) with trimeters (three-foot lines).’
- ‘Justice discovered early on a way with trimeters, whose cautious motion fit his muted resolve; pentameters took him longer to master, though by the '80s he had made them his own as well.’
- ‘Although the English meter is properly iambic, often with feminine endings, line length is erratic, ranging from trimeter to pentameter, except for the two shortest lines, which appear in dimeter.’
- ‘The regular speech-verse is the iambic trimeter.’
- ‘Poems in iambic dimeters and trimeters are found in abundance in her first book, as are poems written in trochaic measure.’
Mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek trimetros, from tri- ‘three’ + metron ‘measure’.
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