Get Your Premium Membership


An element of meter in poetry. In quantitative verse, such as Greek or Latin, a dactyl is a long syllable followed by two short syllables. In accentual verse, such as English, it is a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables.


An example of dactylic meter is the first line of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem Evangeline, which is in dactylic hexameter:

This is the / forest prim- / eval. The / murmuring / pines and the / hemlocks,

[n] a finger or toe in human beings or corresponding part in other vertebrates
[n] a metrical unit with stressed-unstressed-unstressed syllables

Related Information

More Dactyl Links

  • See poems containing the word: Dactyl.
  • See quotes containing the word: Dactyl.
  • How many syllables are in Dactyl.
  • What rhymes with Dactyl?