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A Greek metrical unit (foot) consisting of one long syllable and three short syllables, usually in that order (- ‿ ‿ ‿, known as the ‘first paeon’ from the position of the long syllable). Named after its use in paeans, it occurs in some classical Greek comedy. In English, the paeon combines one stressed syllable with three unstressed syllables; but the foot is rarely found outside the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, who used the second (○•○○) and third (○○•○) paeons in combination with other feet in his ‘The Windhover’ and other poems. Adjective: paeonic.

Subjects: Literature.

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