Foot (73 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • John Constable (University of Cambridge)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


The metrical unit of verse comprising a number of stressed and unstressed syllables. These are usually marked up with the sign ā€˜uā€™ over the unstressed syllable and a forward slash over the stressed syllable. Thus the kinds of feet appear as:

Anapest: u u /
Dactyl: / u u
Iamb: u /
Trochee: / u
Spondee: / /
As an aid to memory, each Greek word actually has the stress pattern it names. Thus Spondee has two stresses, spond-dee.

Constable, John. "Foot". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 June 2002
[, accessed 23 October 2016.]