Definition of dactylic in English:

dactylic

adjective

Prosody
  • Of or using dactyls.

    ‘dactylic rhythm’
    • ‘But the most dramatic departure is found in the final line, which contains two dactyls and a single accented syllable which we have to regard as the initial syllable of a third dactylic foot.’
    • ‘Here she breaks what is actually a metrically regular dactylic line so that the beat is undermined and countered by the line breaks: a subtle disorienting of form and expectation.’
    • ‘Metrically, his hexameter shows similar developments to Callimachus’ and Theocritus ’, and dactylic rhythm is more predominant than in Homer.’
    • ‘They sing their tales, including the rape of Proserpina, in dactylic pentameter, as does Orpheus when he charms the king and queen of Hades with his appeal to retrieve Eurydice.’
    • ‘But the repetition of ‘call to me’ in its dactylic form makes a continuous anapaestic reading impossible, and the stress dactyls in the following lines makes it clearly inappropriate.’

noun

usually dactylics
Prosody
  • Dactylic verse.

    • ‘He thereby lends some countenance to Saintsbury's later mantra that what passes for English dactylics are in fact ‘tipped-up’ hypermetric anapests.’
    • ‘Johnston speculates that Gillray must have had inside information, as otherwise ‘he would have been unlikely to know about Coleridge's dactylics.’’

Origin

Late 16th century: via Latin from Greek daktulikos, from daktulos, literally finger (see dactyl).

Pronunciation:

dactylic

/dakˈtilik/