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A dactyl is a metrical unit of a poetic foot in poetry which is made up of one stressed (accented) syllable followed by two unstressed (unaccented) syllables.[1] Lines of verse that are predominantly made up of dactyls are referred to as dactylic. For instance, a line consisting of five sets of dactyls would be considered to be in dactylic pentameter.

A few examples of dactylic words are:

  • strawberry
  • carefully
  • changeable
  • liberal
  • merrily
  • mannequin
  • tenderly[2]


  1. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dactyl
  2. http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/documents/examples%20of%20iambs.pdf