iamb

noun
\ ˈī-ˌam(b) How to pronounce iamb (audio) \
variants: or iambus \ ī-​ˈam-​bəs How to pronounce iamb (audio) \
plural iambs\ ˈī-​ˌamz How to pronounce iamb (audio) \ or iambuses

Definition of iamb

: 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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from iamb

iambic \ ī-​ˈam-​bik How to pronounce iamb (audio) \ 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, "What Charles Portis Taught Us," 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, "Remembering Donald Hall, a Poet of Love and Loss," 27 June 2018

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

First Known Use of iamb

1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for iamb

Latin iambus, from Greek iambos

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about iamb

Statistics for iamb

Cite this Entry

“Iamb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/iamb. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for iamb

iamb

noun

English Language Learners Definition of iamb

technical : a unit of rhythm in poetry that consists of one syllable that is not accented or stressed followed by one syllable that is accented or stressed (as in the words away or above)

More from Merriam-Webster on iamb

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about iamb

Comments on iamb

What made you want to look up iamb? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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