an·​a·​pest ˈa-nə-ˌpest How to pronounce anapest (audio)
: a metrical foot consisting of two short syllables followed by one long syllable or of two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable (such as unaware)
anapestic adjective or noun

Word History


Latin anapaestus, from Greek anapaistos, literally, struck back (a dactyl reversed), from ana- + -paistos, verbal of paiein to strike

First Known Use

1596, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anapest was in 1596

Dictionary Entries Near anapest

Cite this Entry

“Anapest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


an·​a·​pest ˈan-ə-ˌpest How to pronounce anapest (audio)
: a metrical foot consisting of two unaccented syllables followed by one accented syllable (as in the accused)
anapestic adjective

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