Meaning of dactylic hexameter in English:

dactylic hexameter


  • A hexameter consisting of five dactyls and either a spondee or trochee, in which any of the first four dactyls, and sometimes the fifth, may be replaced by a spondee.

    ‘Several English poets have attempted extended composition in hexameters, the dactylic hexameter having been the epic metre of Homer.’
    • ‘Thus a pattern consisting of five iambs would be an iambic pentameter; a pattern consisting of six dactyls would be a dactylic hexameter; and so on.’
    • ‘The twenty four books of dactylic hexameter we now know as the Odyssey have been transmitted with various textual variation since about 300 B.C.E.’
    • ‘His Metamorphoses were written in epic meter of dactylic hexameters.’
    • ‘In twenty-four books of dactylic hexameter verse, the Iliad narrates the events of the last year of the Trojan War.’