\ 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)

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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

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Cite this Entry

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

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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

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