hex·​am·​e·​ter hek-ˈsa-mə-tər How to pronounce hexameter (audio)
: a line of verse consisting of six metrical feet

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web On the other, the Satires and Epistles, loose, talky poems written, like the Ars, in dactylic hexameter. Gregory Hays, The New York Review of Books, 27 May 2020 More specifically, a grammatically- and rhythmically-correct line of dactylic hexameter, the kind used by Virgil and Ovid. Leah Henrickson, Slate Magazine, 29 Aug. 2017 Sarah Ruden took upon herself the Herculean task of translating Virgil line-by-line, in iambic pentameter, the normative rhythm of English verse, as dactylic hexameter is of ancient epic. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, 22 Sep. 2017 With one, epic style — stage behavior was often tender, intimate — was established primarily by musical meter, as grand, propulsive and firm as the hexameters of Homer. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, 15 Sep. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hexameter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin, from Greek hexametron, from neuter of hexametros having six measures, from hexa- + metron measure — more at measure

First Known Use

1546, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hexameter was in 1546

Dictionary Entries Near hexameter

Cite this Entry

“Hexameter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hexameter. Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


hex·​am·​e·​ter hek-ˈsam-ət-ər How to pronounce hexameter (audio)
: a line of verse consisting of six metrical feet

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