Basic unit of verse metre. Any of various fixed combinations or groups of stressed and unstressed (or long and short) syllables comprise a foot. The prevailing kind and number of feet determines the metre of a poem. The most common feet in English verse are the iamb, an unstressed followed by a stressed syllable; the trochee, a stressed followed by an unstressed syllable; the anapest, two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable; and the dactyl, a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. See also prosody.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on foot, metrical, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up foot, metrical? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.