variants or iambus
plural iambs ˈī-ˌamz How to pronounce iamb (audio) or iambuses
: a metrical foot consisting of one short syllable followed by one long syllable or of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable (as in above)
iambic adjective or noun

Examples of iamb in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The snow—the heroic iamb—is the epic material of trial and catharsis that people shouldn’t hope for in real life. Wells Tower, The New Yorker, 20 Feb. 2020 For Hall, the two-beat iamb tolls the relentless melodies of departure from the world: a great-uncle early on; his grandfather; his father. Walt Hunter, The Atlantic, 27 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'iamb.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin iambus, from Greek iambos

First Known Use

1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of iamb was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near iamb

Cite this Entry

“Iamb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a metrical foot consisting of one unaccented syllable followed by one accented syllable (as in away)
iambic adjective or noun

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