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1. Prosody a metrical foot of three syllables, one long followed by two short (— ⌣ ⌣)
2. Zoology any digit of a vertebrate


(dak -tăl) See Ida.



in syllabotonic versification (including Russian), a three-syllable foot in which the stress falls on the first syllable (- - -). An example of the dactyl in Russian verse is

Tuchkĭ nĕ/ besny̆ĕ,/ vechny̆ĕ/ strannĭkĭ!

Step’i͝u la,/ zurnǒi ̆u,/ tsep’i͝u zhĕm/ chuzhnǒi͝u . ..


In ancient metrics the dactyl was a three-syllable foot with a duration of four morae made up of one long syllable and two short syllables (---).

References in periodicals archive ?
This passage--its appeal to sound (luminous plume) and rhythm (not just dactylic but also trochaic and iambic), as well as its (almost) violation of the rules of syntax in the repetition of "up up up, on and on, down down and across" and "sky made vaster" marks this passage with the ludic play described by Barthes.
The longer lines, often in perfect dactylic octameter, go for eight beats.
Since this prevalence is statistical and not mandatory as with the dactylic hexameter in classic epic, for instance, poets always have the option to have recourse to the unmarked form, when convenient.
Likewise, dactylic rhymes in Russian verse that have been very common since the mid-nineteenth century (Nekrasov, Fet, Bal'mont and others) find no correspondence in French, and to an even lesser degree do compound or polysyllabic rhymes, like those of Mayakovslcy.
It was difficult, because there were very few dactylic poems available as models.
One must question therefore whether a Roman critic of the late Republic, or even a lay reader, would have been willing to list poems written in dactylic hexameter and elegiac couplets under the same generic class.
The epigram is composed in dactylic hexameters, which give it a mock-heroic tone and also a fluent narrative instead of the antithetical statements of the epigrammatic couplet.
At Delphi, the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] interprets the fragmentary message uttered by the divine seer into dactylic hexameter as an ambiguous response, (59) which in turn has to be further interpreted by whoever asked the oracle for help.
This translation adheres to dactylic hexameter, bringing forward the rhythm of the ancient poetry; and Johnston has chosen clear and simple language to further the experience of the original's powerful simplicity.
But because he is speaking within an epic poem--in other words, because the narrator of the outer story is singing an epic poem--then Odysseus within that song has to also be singing (in the poem's meter, dactylic hexameter), with the result that a merger happens between the performer of the Odyssey as a whole and the character who speaks in first person within the poem.
Publius Ovidius Naso, known to us as Ovid, finished his famous epic in dactylic hexameters in AD 8.
The verse form that evolved to narrate Greek epic poetry is the dactylic hexameter: five dactyls, for which a spondee may substitute, and a final spondee or trochee in the last foot.