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A trochee is a metrical foot in poetry—the unit of stressed and unstressed syllables that determines what we call the meter, or rhythmic measure, in the lines of a poem. A trochaic foot consists of two syllables, the first one stressed and the second unstressed, to make a sound “DUM-da.”

The word “trochee” comes from the classical Greek word for wheel. A trochee can also be called a “choree,” derived from the ancient Greek word for dance. Both etymological derivations convey the rhythmic motion of a line composed of trochaic feet.

Pronunciation: TROH-key
The chorus of the The Witches’ Spell in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth consists of two lines of trochees:
DOU-ble, / DOU-ble / TOIL and / TROU-ble;
FI-re / BURN, and / CAL-dron / BUB-ble.

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