Tribrach (poetry)

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Metrical feet and accents
˘ ˘pyrrhic, dibrach
˘ ¯iamb
¯ ˘trochee, choree
¯ ¯spondee
˘ ˘ ˘tribrach
¯ ˘ ˘dactyl
˘ ¯ ˘amphibrach
˘ ˘ ¯anapaest, antidactylus
˘ ¯ ¯bacchius
¯ ¯ ˘antibacchius
¯ ˘ ¯cretic, amphimacer
¯ ¯ ¯molossus

A tribrach is a metrical foot used in formal poetry and Greek and Latin verse. In quantitative meter (such as the meter of classical verse), it consists of three short syllables; in accentual-syllabic verse (such as formal English verse), the tribrach consists of three unstressed syllables. According to some sources, another name for this meter is choree, from the Greek choreus. Other sources[who?] categorize the choree as a metrical foot containing two unstressed syllables, or one accented followed by one unaccented foot.

The existence of the tribrach has been contested by some writers[who?] and its entry in the Oxford English Dictionary under 'Poetry Terms' lacks a formal definition, but does appear, primarily as a musical form, in some American dictionaries, such as Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary. Its appearance in English poetry is rare, as it tends to resolve into two disyllabic feet, depending upon the feet that surround it.