We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Iambic Trimeter?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Iambic trimeter is a form of poetic meter that indicates a work is written with three feet per line and each foot uses the iambic structure. There are many different types of metrical categories in which different types of works can be written, usually poems and some plays. The word “trimeter” in iambic trimeter indicates that the work is written with lines that consist of three metrical feet per line. Each of these feet consist of an “iamb,” which is a structure in English that indicates two syllables per foot, with the first syllable being unstressed and the second stressed.

The term “iambic trimeter” usually refers to works written either in English or in ancient Greek, though the exact meaning varies slightly between these two languages. In either language, however, the term “trimeter” indicates how many feet or metra are found in each line of the work. A work written in trimeter has three feet per line, while a work written in heptameter has seven and pentameter has five. Each of these feet can be set up in a number of different ways, and this is indicated by the other descriptive word for a work.

A poem or play written in iambic trimeter has three feet per line, and each of these feet uses the iambic structure. This means that each foot consists of a single iamb. The iambic structure is quite simple and popular in a number of different works, especially in poetry and plays by William Shakespeare and Victorian or Romantic poets. An iamb consists of two syllables; in Greek writings the first syllable is short and the second syllable is long, though in English the first syllable is unstressed and the second syllable is stressed.

These feet in iambic trimeter do not have to be a single word, and the division between feet is based purely on the stresses or lengths of the syllables. This means a foot can be created by a single word, such as “unsaid,” which consists of a simple iambic structure that can be shown by indicating the stresses as “unSAID.” Two or more words can also create one or more iambic feet in a line; a phrase like “A word unsaid is loud” is an example of iambic trimeter. The line consists of three feet, with an iambic structure that can be represented as “a WORD / unSAID / is LOUD.”

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.