One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A foot consisting of one long or stressed syllable followed by one short or unstressed syllable.
- ‘Although not one line of iambic hexameter appears, lines sometimes begin with a trochee or spondee or two, drift gently toward an iambic norm, and then depart from it.’
- ‘A trochee is a metrical foot of two syllables, the first long and the second short.’
- ‘The first line, for example, appears to begin with two unstressed syllables followed by two stressed ones, while the second line unquestionably contains a trochee and an iamb and therefore forms a choriambic foot.’
- ‘This is matched by the metre where, however, intricate use of trochees and dactyls gives a song-like quality to the verse.’
- ‘We hear iambs, trochees, Virgil's hexameters, the Norse alliterative lines, each arranged in their various couplets, quatrains, choric stanzas, gnomic verses, and much more besides.’
Late 16th century: via Latin from Greek trokhaios (pous) ‘running (foot)’, from trekhein ‘to run’.
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