trochee

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trochee

Prosody a metrical foot of two syllables, the first long and the second short (– ⌣)

Trochee

 

(1) In metric versification, a foot three moras in length, consisting of one long and one short syllable (¯ ˅).

(2) In Russian syllabotonic versification, a two-syllable foot stressed on the first syllable. In trochaic verse the weak syllables are unstressed and the strong syllables may be either unstressed or stressed; the last syllable in a line must be stressed. Examples are Górnye vershíny (“Mountain peaks,” M. Iu. Lermontov; trochaic trimeter), Búria mglóiu nébo króet (“The storm covers the sky with mist,” A. S. Pushkin; trochaic tetrameter), Vykhozhúodín ia na dorógu (“I go out on the road alone,” Lermontov; trochaic pentameter), and Nét na svéte múk sil’née múki slóva (“There are no torments on earth more intense than the torment of the word,” S. Ia. Nadson; trochaic hexameter).

In Russian poetry of the 18th and 19th centuries the most common trochaic meter was the tetrameter. Beginning in the mid-19th century the trochaic pentameter became more widespread; other trochaic meters were rarely used.