One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A metrical foot consisting of two short (or unstressed) syllables between two long (or stressed) ones.
- ‘Each pàda may be divided into three feet, the second always consisting of a choriambus, and the third of two iambics; while the first foot in the first pàda consists of a pyrrhic, in the second pàda of an anap æ st.’
- ‘Occasionally the term choriambus is used of English verses - a foot made up of two light syllables between two stressed ones.’
- ‘In poetry, Choriambi are never used alone, but always combined with other metrical 'feet' such as spondees, trochees and dactyls.’
Late 18th century: via late Latin from Greek khoriambos, from khoreios ‘of the dance’ + iambos (see iambus).
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