AskDefine | Define pentameter

Dictionary Definition

pentameter n : a verse line having five metrical feet

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a line in a poem having five metrical feet
  2. a poetic metre in which each line has five feet

Extensive Definition

In poetry, a pentameter is a line of verse consisting of five metrical feet. Iambic pentameter is one of the most commonly used meters in English, used extensively by many poets, including William Shakespeare, John Milton, and William Wordsworth. It is a line that consists of five iambs. Occasionally, Shakespeare will invert each foot to produce a line in trochaic pentameter, which consists of five trochees; an example of which may be found in King Lear's dying speech--"Never, never, never, never, never!" (4.3). The dactylic pentameter is found in elegiac poetry as the second line in an elegiac distich consisting of a dactylic hexameter and a pentameter.
Pentameter can be described as the following:
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
pentameter in Tosk Albanian: Pentameter
pentameter in Danish: Pentameter
pentameter in German: Pentameter
pentameter in French: Pentamètre
pentameter in Icelandic: Fimmliðaháttur
pentameter in Italian: Pentametro
pentameter in Dutch: Pentameter
pentameter in Norwegian: Pentameter
pentameter in Polish: Pentametr
pentameter in Swedish: Pentameter
pentameter in Ukrainian: Пентаметр
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