spondee

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n spondee a metrical unit with stressed-stressed syllables
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Spondee spŏn"dē (Pros) A poetic foot of two long syllables, as in the Latin word lēgēs.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n spondee In ancient prosody, a foot consisting of two long times or syllables, one of which constitutes the thesis and the other the arsis: it is accordingly tetrasemic and isorrhythmic. The spondee is principally used as a substitute for a dactyl or an anapest. In the former case it is a dactylic spondee ( for ), in the latter an anapestic spondee ( for ). An irrational spondee represents a trisemic foot, trochee, or iambus ( for , or for ). It is found in the even places of trochaic lines and in the odd places of iambic lines, also in logaœdic verses, especially as representing the initial trochee (“basis”). A foot consisting of two spondees is called a dispondee.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Spondee spon′dē in classical poetry, a foot of two long syllables, as fātō
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. spondeus, Gr. (sc. ), fr. a drink offering, libation, fr. to pour out, make a libation: cf. F. spondée,. So called because at libations slow, solemn melodies were used, chiefly in this meter
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. spondēus (pes)—Gr. spondeios (pous), (a foot) of two syllables, so called because much used in the slow solemn hymns sung at a spondē or drink-offering—spendein, to pour out, make a libation.

Usage

In literature:

I observed that Mr. Spondee declined it, and, I fancied, looked disappointed.
"The Twins of Table Mountain and Other Stories" by Bret Harte
In all kinds of iambic verse the old Romans freely introduced spondees where the Greeks used iambi; so in hexameters spondees for dactyls.
"Cato Maior de Senectute" by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Sometimes we find a spondee in the fifth foot.
"New Latin Grammar" by Charles E. Bennett
Now imagine dancing to spondees!
"Critical & Historical Essays" by Edward MacDowell
How long ago it seems, that spring noonshine when two young men (we will call them Dactyl and Spondee) set off to plunder the golden bag of Time.
"Pipefuls" by Christopher Morley
Who could be bothered with dactyls and spondees when goal-posts and touch-lines were far more to the point?
"The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic's" by Talbot Baines Reed
A spondee is a foot of two syllables, as InfAns, an infant.
"The Comic Latin Grammar" by Percival Leigh
There is, in fact, no such thing as a spondee in ordinary speech.
"The Voice and Spiritual Education" by Hiram Corson
The spondee is found in solemn hymns or in any verse expressing reverence and awe.
"Browning and the Dramatic Monologue" by S. S. Curry
The four other feet may be either spondees or dactyls.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 13, Slice 4" by Various
***