Definition of accentual-syllabic

: characterized by lines with a fixed number of stressed and unstressed syllables Finally, Sidney is presented as the first English poet who was a master of strict accentual-syllabic meter and yet able to vary this meter with a deliberate, controlled, and often gorgeous counterpoint of speech rhythms.— Robert Lowell, Collected Prose, 1987 Accentual-syllabic verse is built up of pairs or triads of syllables, alternating or otherwise grouping stressed and unstressed ones. Syllables usually keep their word accent, or the accent they would have in phrases in normal speech.— John Hollander, Rhyme's Reason, 1981

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of accentual-syllabic

1921, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About accentual-syllabic

Time Traveler for accentual-syllabic

Time Traveler

The first known use of accentual-syllabic was in 1921

See more words from the same year

Statistics for accentual-syllabic

Cite this Entry

“Accentual-syllabic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!