To measure something is to figure out how much of it is there. A measure can also be a step toward a goal: take measures to ensure you don't flunk an exam by cracking the books.

You can take measures to improve your health: limit sweets, get enough rest, get some exercise, and wash your hands to avoid the spread of germs. The noun also means a standard for comparison. You can measure your time against the good you will do if you volunteer to help out a child via a mentoring program.

Primary Meanings of measure

determine the measurements of something or somebody, take measurements of
the act or process of assigning numbers to phenomena according to a rule
any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal
musical notation for a repeating pattern of musical beats
Full Definitions of measure

v determine the measurements of something or somebody, take measurements of

Measure the length of the wall”
measure out, mensurate
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measure the altitude of by using a sextant
measure by using trigonometry
caliper, calliper
measure the diameter of something with calipers
measure the caliber of
Type of:
decide, determine, make up one's mind
reach, make, or come to a decision about something

v evaluate or estimate the nature, quality, ability, extent, or significance of

appraise, assess, evaluate, valuate, value
estimate the value of (property) for taxation
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grade, mark, score
assign a grade or rank to, according to one's evaluation
rate, value
estimate the value of
standardise, standardize
evaluate by comparing with a standard
reassess, reevaluate
revise or renew one's assessment
subject to political, religious, or moral censorship
express approval of
blue-pencil, delete, edit
cut or eliminate
value anew
praise or celebrate in song
express commendation of
express approval of
exalt, extol, glorify, laud, proclaim
praise, glorify, or honor
blandish, flatter
praise somewhat dishonestly
eulogise, eulogize
praise formally and eloquently
compliment, congratulate
say something to someone that expresses praise
gush, rave
praise enthusiastically
express approval of
commend, recommend
express a good opinion of
advertise, advertize, promote, push
make publicity for; try to sell (a product)
puff, puff up
praise extravagantly
praise in a sonnet
Type of:
evaluate, judge, pass judgment
form a critical opinion of

v express as a number or measure or quantity

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measure precisely and against a standard
measure with or as if with scales
measure with a meter
pace, step
measure (distances) by pacing
clock, time
measure the time or duration of an event or action or the person who performs an action in a certain period of time
fathom, sound
measure the depth of (a body of water) with a sounding line
measure by (the volume or concentration of solutions) by titration
measure the depth of something
librate, weigh
determine the weight of
time incorrectly
test the weight of something by lifting it
Type of:
carry, convey, express
serve as a means for expressing something

v have certain dimensions

“This table surfaces measures 20inches by 36 inches”
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be tall; have a height of; copula
have a certain weight
endure, last
persist for a specified period of time
measure by or as if by a scale
run, run for
extend or continue for a certain period of time
endure, hold out, wear
last and be usable
drag on, drag out
last unnecessarily long
Type of:
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

n the act or process of assigning numbers to phenomena according to a rule

measurement, measuring, mensuration
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the measurement of tremors and shocks and undulatory movements of earthquakes
quantitative analysis, quantitative chemical analysis
chemical analysis to determine the amounts of each element in the substance
measuring the intensity of electromagnetic radiation (especially of the sun's rays)
measuring sensitivity to pain or pressure
recording anemometrical measurements
measuring wind speed and direction
the precise measurement of angles
measurement and study of the human body and its parts and capacities
arterial blood gases
measurement of the pH level and the oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations in arterial blood; important in diagnosis of many respiratory diseases
measuring sensitivity of hearing
bathymetry, plumbing
measuring the depths of the oceans
measurement of quantities of heat
measurement of human heads
measuring the optical density of a substance by shining light on it and measuring its transmission
measuring the dose of radiation emitted by a radioactive source
fetometry, foetometry
measurement of a fetus (especially the diameter of the head)
gravimetry, hydrometry
the measurement of specific gravity
hypsography, hypsometry
measurement of the elevation of land above sea level
mental measurement
a generic term used to cover any application of measurement techniques to the quantification of mental functions
measuring with a micrometer
the act of making and recording a measurement
measurement of the dimensions of the bony birth canal (to determine whether vaginal birth is possible)
measurement of the properties of light (especially luminous intensity)
the act of discovering or expressing the quantity of something
radioactive dating
measurement of the amount of radioactive material (usually carbon 14) that an object contains; can be used to estimate the age of the object
meter reading, reading
the act of measuring with meters or similar instruments
measurement at regular intervals of the amplitude of a varying waveform (in order to convert it to digital form)
the act of measuring depth of water (usually with a sounding line)
sound ranging
locating a source of sound (as an enemy gun) by measurements of the time the sound arrives at microphones in known positions
act of measuring or arranging or adjusting according to a scale
the use of a spirometer to measure vital capacity
the practice of measuring angles and distances on the ground so that they can be accurately plotted on a map
automatic transmission and measurement of data from remote sources by wire or radio or other means
the measurement of temperature
the measurement of changes in weight as a function of changes in temperature used as a technique of chemically analyzing substances
the measurement of intraocular pressure by determining the amount of force needed to make a slight indentation in the cornea
viscometry, viscosimetry
the measurement of viscosity
a method of surveying; the area is divided into triangles and the length of one side and its angles with the other two are measured, then the lengths of the other sides can be calculated
colorimetric analysis, colorimetry
quantitative chemical analysis by color using a colorimeter
volumetric analysis
quantitative analysis by the use of definite volumes of standard solutions or reagents
volumetric analysis
determination of the volume of gases (or changes in their volume) during combination
gravimetric analysis
quantitative analysis by weight
the study of chemical compounds inside a cell by means of a cytophotometer
gradation, graduation
the act of arranging in grades
the act of scaling in weight or quantity or dimension
mental test, mental testing, psychometric test, test
any standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or memory or intelligence or aptitude or personality etc
radio observation
an observation made with a radio telescope
Type of:
any specific behavior

n how much there is or how many there are of something that you can quantify

amount, quantity
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6 June 1944
date of the Allied landing in France, World War II
Bronze Age
(archeology) a period between the Stone and Iron Ages, characterized by the manufacture and use of bronze tools and weapons
Iron Age
(archeology) the period following the Bronze Age; characterized by rapid spread of iron tools and weapons
Stone Age
(archeology) the earliest known period of human culture, characterized by the use of stone implements
Eolithic Age
the earliest part of the Stone Age marked by the earliest signs of human culture
Paleolithic Age
second part of the Stone Age beginning about 750,00 to 500,000 years BC and lasting until the end of the last ice age about 8,500 years BC
Lower Paleolithic
the oldest part of the Paleolithic Age with the emergence of the hand ax; ended about 120,000 years ago
Middle Paleolithic
the time period of Neanderthal man; ended about 35,000 years BC
Upper Paleolithic
the time period during which only modern Homo sapiens was known to have existed; ended about 10,000 years BC
middle part of the Stone Age beginning about 15,000 years ago
Neolithic Age
latest part of the Stone Age beginning about 10,000 BC in the Middle East (but later elsewhere)
the era of Islam's ascendancy from the death of Mohammed until the 13th century; some Moslems still maintain that the Moslem world must always have a calif as head of the community
Christian era
the time period beginning with the supposed year of Christ's birth
Great Schism
the period from 1378 to 1417 during which there were two papacies in the Roman Catholic Church, one in Rome and one in Avignon
Age of Reason
a movement in Europe from about 1650 until 1800 that advocated the use of reason and individualism instead of tradition and established doctrine
Elizabethan age
a period in British history during the reign of Elizabeth I in the 16th century; an age marked by literary achievement and domestic prosperity
Victorian age
a period in British history during the reign of Queen Victoria in the 19th century; her character and moral standards restored the prestige of the British monarchy but gave the era a prudish reputation
Baroque period
the historic period from about 1600 until 1750 when the baroque style of art, architecture, and music flourished in Europe
Middle Ages
the period of history between classical antiquity and the Italian Renaissance
the period of European history at the close of the Middle Ages and the rise of the modern world; a cultural rebirth from the 14th through the middle of the 17th centuries
Italian Renaissance
the early period when Italy was the center of the Renaissance
technological revolution
the transformation from an agricultural to an industrial nation
Reign of Terror
the historic period (1793-94) during the French Revolution when thousands were executed
Harlem Renaissance
a period in the 1920s when African-American achievements in art and music and literature flourished
New Deal
the historic period (1933-1940) in the United States during which President Franklin Roosevelt's economic policies were implemented
Reconstruction Period
the period after the American Civil War when the southern states were reorganized and reintegrated into the Union; 1865-1877
the reign of Charles II in England; 1660-1685
Great Depression
a period during the 1930s when there was a worldwide economic depression and mass unemployment
the period from 1811-1820 when the Prince of Wales was regent during George III's periods of insanity
8 May 1945
the date of Allied victory in Europe, World War II
15 August 1945
the date of Allied victory over Japan, World War II
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chance, probability
a measure of how likely it is that some event will occur; a number expressing the ratio of favorable cases to the whole number of cases possible
(physics) the smallest discrete quantity of some physical property that a system can possess (according to quantum theory)
economic value, value
the amount (of money or goods or services) that is considered to be a fair equivalent for something else
fundamental measure, fundamental quantity
one of the four quantities that are the basis of systems of measurement
definite quantity
a specific measure of amount
indefinite quantity
an estimated quantity
relative quantity
a quantity relative to some purpose
metric, system of measurement
a system of related measures that facilitates the quantification of some particular characteristic
the amount of wood in an area as measured in cords
octane number, octane rating
a measure of the antiknock properties of gasoline
magnetisation, magnetization
the extent or degree to which something is magnetized
(mathematics) a quantity expressed as the root of another quantity
the amount of 3-dimensional space occupied by an object
a relative amount
a measure of alcoholic strength expressed as an integer twice the percentage of alcohol present (by volume)
time unit, unit of time
a unit for measuring time periods
point, point in time
an instant of time
period of play, play, playing period
(in games or plays or other performances) the time during which play proceeds
interval, time interval
a definite length of time marked off by two instants
golf hole, hole
one playing period (from tee to green) on a golf course
the degree of hotness or coldness of a body or environment (corresponding to its molecular activity)
the property of a body that causes it to have weight in a gravitational field
conditional probability, contingent probability
the probability that an event will occur given that one or more other events have occurred
cross section
(physics) the probability that a particular interaction (as capture or ionization) will take place between particles; measured in barns
(geology) the probability that an earthquake will generate a level of ground motion that exceeds a specified reference level during a given exposure time
fair chance, sporting chance
a reasonable probability of success
fat chance, slim chance
little or no chance of success
joint probability
the probability of two events occurring together
risk, risk of exposure
the probability of being exposed to an infectious agent
risk, risk of infection
the probability of becoming infected given that exposure to an infectious agent has occurred
the linear extent in space from one end to the other; the longest dimension of something that is fixed in place
a quantum of energy (in a crystal lattice or other system) that has position and momentum and can in some respects be regarded as a particle
criterion, standard, touchstone
a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated
mess of pottage
anything of trivial value
the amount that something in scarce supply is valued above its nominal value
system of weights and measures
system of measurement for length and weight and duration
point system
a system of graduating sizes of type in multiples of the point
information measure
a system of measurement of information based on the probabilities of the events that convey information
(economics) a measure that is to be maximized in any situation involving choice
enough, sufficiency
an adequate quantity; a quantity that is large enough to achieve a purpose
N, normality
(of a solution) concentration expressed in gram equivalents of solute per liter
absolute majority, majority
(elections) more than half of the votes
plurality, relative majority
(in an election with more than 2 options) the number of votes for the candidate or party receiving the greatest number (but less that half of the votes)
absolute value, numerical value
a real number regardless of its sign
acid value
(chemistry) the amount of free acid present in fat as measured by the milligrams of potassium hydroxide needed to neutralize it
a measure of the quantity of chlorine or other halides in water (especially seawater)
a concept of quantity involving zero and units
a quantity of paper; 24 or 25 sheets
a quantity of paper; 480 or 500 sheets; one ream equals 20 quires
the quantity of a particular substance that can dissolve in a particular solvent (yielding a saturated solution)
the degree to which something is poisonous
unit, unit of measurement
any division of quantity accepted as a standard of measurement or exchange
magnetic flux
a measure of the strength of a magnetic field over a given area
Brix scale
a system for measuring the concentration of sugar solutions
circular measure
measurement of angles in radians
board measure
a system of units for measuring lumber based on the board foot
Beaufort scale
a scale from 0 to 12 for the force of the wind
system of weights, weight
a system of units used to express the weight of something
aught, cipher, cypher, goose egg, nada, naught, nil, nix, nothing, null, zero, zilch, zip, zippo
a quantity of no importance
addition, gain, increase
a quantity that is added
the quantity of game taken in a particular period (usually by one person)
the quantity broken
(computer science) the amount of information (in bytes) that can be stored on a disk drive
catch, haul
the quantity that was caught
correction, fudge factor
a quantity that is added or subtracted in order to increase the accuracy of a scientific measure
the quantity that a container will hold
footstep, pace, step, stride
the distance covered by a step
the volume left at the top of a filled container (bottle or jar or tin) before sealing
large indefinite amount, large indefinite quantity
an indefinite quantity that is above the average in size or magnitude
limit, limitation
the greatest amount of something that is possible or allowed
limit, limit point, point of accumulation
the mathematical value toward which a function goes as the independent variable approaches infinity
output, production, yield
the quantity of something (as a commodity) that is created (usually within a given period of time)
neighborhood, region
the approximate amount of something (usually used prepositionally as in `in the region of')
the amount of something (as whiskey or oil) lost in storage or transportation
(medicine) potential capacity to respond in order to maintain vital functions
the production achieved during a continuous period of operation (of a machine or factory etc.)
small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude
the amount that has spilled
the amount that has spoiled
the quantity contained in (or the capacity of) a tank or tanks
the amount that a container (as a wine bottle or tank) lacks of being full
an amount needed to restore something to its former level
an indefinite quantity of something having a specified value
a quantity of alcoholic drink sufficient to make you drunk
dosage, dose
the quantity of an active agent (substance or radiation) taken in or absorbed at any one time
an amount of alcohol sufficient to intoxicate
load, loading
a quantity that can be processed or transported at one time
the quantity of water falling to earth at a specific place within a specified period of time
an amount of something available for use
capacity, content
the amount that can be contained
temperature scale
a system of measuring temperature
period, period of time, time period
an amount of time
24-hour interval, day, mean solar day, solar day, twenty-four hour period, twenty-four hours
time for Earth to make a complete rotation on its axis
the dark part of the diurnal cycle considered a time unit
mean solar time, mean time
(astronomy) time based on the motion of the mean sun (an imaginary sun moving uniformly along the celestial equator)
TDT, TT, ephemeris time, terrestrial dynamical time, terrestrial time
(astronomy) a measure of time defined by Earth's orbital motion; terrestrial time is mean solar time corrected for the irregularities of the Earth's motions
access time
(computer science) the interval between the time data is requested by the system and the time the data is provided by the drive
distance, space
the interval between two times
a remote point in time
embolism, intercalation
an insertion into a calendar
date, particular date
a particular but unspecified point in time
the point in time at which something must be completed
arrival time, time of arrival
the time at which a public conveyance is scheduled to arrive at a given destination
departure time, time of departure
the time at which a public conveyance is scheduled to depart from a given point of origin
a time unit of approximately 30 days
day, sidereal day
the time for one complete rotation of the earth relative to a particular star, about 4 minutes shorter than a mean solar day
middle of an academic term or a political term in office
full term, term
the end of gestation or point at which birth is imminent
the middle of the gestation period
bell, ship's bell
(nautical) each of the eight half-hour units of nautical time signaled by strokes of a ship's bell; eight bells signals 4:00, 8:00, or 12:00 o'clock, either a.m. or p.m.
60 minutes, hour, hr
a period of time equal to 1/24th of a day
30 minutes, half-hour
a half of an hour
15 minutes, quarter-hour
a quarter of an hour
min, minute
a unit of time equal to 60 seconds or 1/60th of an hour
a unit of time equal to 15 minutes or a quarter of an hour
s, sec, second
1/60 of a minute; the basic unit of time adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites
one quintillionth (10^-18) of a second; one thousandth of a femtosecond
one quadrillionth (10^-15) of a second; one thousandth of a picosecond
one trillionth (10^-12) of a second; one thousandth of a nanosecond
one billionth (10^-9) of a second; one thousandth of a microsecond
one millionth (10^-6) of a second; one thousandth of a millisecond
millisecond, msec
one thousandth (10^-3) of a second
instant, minute, moment, second
a particular point in time
a unit of play in tennis or squash
the time at which a (software or multimedia) program is run
beginning, commencement, first, get-go, kickoff, offset, outset, showtime, start, starting time
the time at which something is supposed to begin
time between the beginning and the end of a temporal period
end, ending
the point in time at which something ends
seek time
(computer science) the time it takes for a read/write head to move to a specific data track
time constant
(electronics) the time required for the current or voltage in a circuit to rise or fall exponentially through approximately 63 per cent of its amplitude
slot, time slot
a time assigned on a schedule or agenda
lunitidal interval
interval between the moon's transit of a particular meridian and the next high tide at that meridian
the time interval during which something or somebody is away
break, intermission, interruption, pause, suspension
a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
an intervening period or episode
interim, lag, meantime, meanwhile
the time between one event, process, or period and another
latent period
the time that elapses before the presence of a disease is manifested by symptoms
latency, latent period, reaction time, response time
the time that elapses between a stimulus and the response to it
a seemingly endless time interval (waiting)
cycle, rhythm, round
an interval during which a recurring sequence of events occurs
lead time
the time interval between the initiation and the completion of a production process
the interval taken to complete one cycle of a regularly repeating phenomenon
phase, phase angle
a particular point in the time of a cycle; measured from some arbitrary zero and expressed as an angle
the time interval between the deposit of a check in a bank and its payment
show time
the point in time at which an entertainment (a movie or television show etc.) is scheduled to begin
that time; that moment
latency, rotational latency
(computer science) the time it takes for a specific block of data on a data track to rotate around to the read/write head
processing time
the time it takes to complete a prescribed procedure
Type of:
abstract entity, abstraction
a general concept formed by extracting common features from specific examples

n a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated

“they set the measure for all subsequent work”
criterion, standard, touchstone
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a standard by which something can be measured or judged
ERA, earned run average
(baseball) a measure of a pitcher's effectiveness; calculated as the average number of earned runs allowed by the pitcher for every nine innings pitched
GPA, grade point average
a measure of a student's academic achievement at a college or university; calculated by dividing the total number of grade points received by the total number attempted
procrustean bed, procrustean rule, procrustean standard
a standard that is enforced uniformly without regard to individuality
a measure or standard used for comparison
medium of exchange, monetary system
anything that is generally accepted as a standard of value and a measure of wealth in a particular country or region
graduated table, ordered series, scale, scale of measurement
an ordered reference standard
gauge, standard of measurement
accepted or approved instance or example of a quantity or quality against which others are judged or measured or compared
an imaginary line or standard by which things are measured or compared
a standard or model or pattern regarded as typical
legal tender, stamp, tender
something that can be used as an official medium of payment
the most common medium of exchange; functions as legal tender
the metal or paper medium of exchange that is presently used
Beaufort scale, wind scale
an international scale of wind force from 0 (calm air) to 12 (hurricane)
a numerical scale used to compare variables with one another or with some reference number
logarithmic scale
scale on which actual distances from the origin are proportional to the logarithms of the corresponding scale numbers
Mercalli scale
a scale formerly used to describe the magnitude of an earthquake; an earthquake detected only by seismographs is a I and an earthquake that destroys all buildings is a XII
Mohs scale
a scale of hardness of solids; talc is 0 and diamond is 10; ordering is determined by which substance can scratch another substance
Richter scale
a logarithmic scale of 1 to 10 formerly used to express the magnitude of an earthquake on the basis of the size of seismograph oscillations
moment magnitude scale
a logarithmic scale of 1 to 10 (a successor to the Richter scale) that enables seismologists to compare the energy released by different earthquakes on the basis of the area of the geological fault that ruptured in the quake
temperature scale
a system of measuring temperature
wage scale, wage schedule
a schedule of wages paid for different jobs
Type of:
metric, system of measurement
a system of related measures that facilitates the quantification of some particular characteristic

n measuring instrument having a sequence of marks at regular intervals; used as a reference in making measurements

measuring rod, measuring stick
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board rule
a measure used in computing board feet
rule, ruler
measuring stick consisting of a strip of wood or metal or plastic with a straight edge that is used for drawing straight lines and measuring lengths
size stick
a mechanical measuring stick used by shoe fitters to measure the length and width of your foot
carpenter's rule
a rule used by a carpenter
foot rule
a ruler one foot long
meterstick, metrestick
a rule one meter long (usually marked off in centimeters and millimeters)
yard measure, yardstick
a ruler or tape that is three feet long
Type of:
measuring device, measuring instrument, measuring system
instrument that shows the extent or amount or quantity or degree of something

n a container of some standard capacity that is used to obtain fixed amounts of a substance

measuring cup
graduated cup used to measure liquid or granular ingredients
Type of:
any object that can be used to hold things (especially a large metal boxlike object of standardized dimensions that can be loaded from one form of transport to another)

n any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal

“the situation called for strong measures
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an action taken to offset another action
porcupine provision, shark repellent
a measure undertaken by a corporation to discourage unwanted takeover attempts
guard, precaution, safeguard
a precautionary measure warding off impending danger or damage or injury etc.
golden parachute
giving top executives lucrative benefits that must be paid by the acquirer if they are discharged after a takeover
(corporation) the practice of purchasing enough shares in a firm to threaten a takeover and thereby forcing the owners to buy those shares back at a premium in order to stay in business
pac-man strategy
the target company defends itself by threatening to take over its acquirer
poison pill
the target company defends itself by making its stock less attractive to an acquirer
safe harbor
the target company defends itself by acquiring a company so onerously regulated that it makes the target less attractive
scorched-earth policy
the target company defends itself by selling off its crown jewels
a precaution in case of an emergency
security, security measures
measures taken as a precaution against theft or espionage or sabotage etc.
(military) a tunnel dug to defeat similar activities by the enemy
Type of:
maneuver, manoeuvre, tactical maneuver, tactical manoeuvre
a move made to gain a tactical end

n a statute in draft before it becomes law

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appropriation bill
a legislative act proposing to authorize the expenditure of public funds for a specified purpose
bill of attainder
a legislative act finding a person guilty of treason or felony without a trial
bottle bill
a statute that would require merchants to reclaim used bottles
farm bill
a statute that would regulate farm production and prices
trade bill
a statute that would regulate foreign trade
Type of:
instrument, legal document, legal instrument, official document
(law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right

n musical notation for a repeating pattern of musical beats

Type of:
musical notation
(music) notation used by musicians

n (prosody) the accent in a metrical foot of verse

beat, cadence, meter, metre
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the absence of a syllable in the last foot of a line or verse
analysis of verse into metrical patterns
common measure, common meter
the usual (iambic) meter of a ballad
foot, metrical foot, metrical unit
(prosody) a group of 2 or 3 syllables forming the basic unit of poetic rhythm
a metrical unit with stressed-unstressed-unstressed syllables
iamb, iambus
a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables
anapaest, anapest
a metrical unit with unstressed-unstressed-stressed syllables
a metrical unit with unstressed-stressed-unstressed syllables (e.g., `remember')
a metrical unit with stressed-unstressed syllables
a metrical unit with stressed-stressed syllables
dibrach, pyrrhic
a metrical unit with unstressed-unstressed syllables
Type of:
poetic rhythm, prosody, rhythmic pattern
(prosody) a system of versification

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