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For the surname, see Beit (surname).

A Beit (also spelled bait, Arabic: بيت‎‎  pronounced [beːt, bi(ː)t, bajt], literally "a house") is a metrical unit of Arabic, Iranian, Urdu and Sindhi poetry. It corresponds to a line, though sometimes improperly renderered as "couplet" since each beit is divided into two hemistichs of equal length, each containing two, three or four feet, or from 16 to 32 sylables.[1]

William Alexander Clouston concluded that this fundamental part of Arabic prosody originated with the Bedouins or Arabs of the desert, as, in the nomenclature of the different parts of the line, one foot is called "a tent-pole", another "tent-peg" and the two hemistichs of the verse are called after the folds or leaves of the double-door of the tent or "house".[1]


  1. ^ a b "Arabian Poetry for English Readers," by William Alexander Clouston (1881), p. 379 in Google Books