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a. Verse written in lines of three metrical feet.
b. A single line of such verse.
a. Classical quantitative verse consisting of three measures of two feet each, especially in iambic, trochaic, or anapestic meter.
b. A single line of such verse.

[Late Latin, from Latin trimetrus, from Greek trimetros : tri-, tri- + metron, measure; see meter1.]

tri·met′ric (trī-mĕt′rĭk), tri·met′ri·cal (-rĭ-kəl) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈtrɪmɪtə) prosody
(Poetry) a verse line consisting of three metrical feet
(Poetry) designating such a line
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈtrɪm ɪ tər)
1. a verse of three measures or feet.
2. consisting of three measures or feet.
[1560–70; < Latin trimetrus having three measures < Greek trímetros. See tri-, meter2]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a verse having three metrical units.
See also: Verse
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A meter of three feet to the line.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
References in classic literature ?
But oh, mesdames, if you are not allowed to touch the heart sometimes in spite of syntax, and are not to be loved until you all know the difference between trimeter and tetrameter, may all Poetry go to the deuce, and every schoolmaster perish miserably!
As a counterpoint to the playful abab rhyme and the relaxed, singsong trimeter of the verse, the possibility of shadowy, grotesque monstrosity lurks beneath.
Whether deeply serious, humorous, or ironic, the poems always take a distinct form; sometimes this form is free verse, but more often it is some version of traditional meter and end-rhyme, ranging from an entirely slant-rhymed sonnet to rhyming quatrains, unrhymed iambic trimeter poems, and (especially prevalent) poems in iambic dimeter lines, rhymed and unrhymed.
Throughout the poem I have maintained an iambic trimeter, with one line of iambic dimeter--a meter somewhat reminiscent of Herrick's shorter lyrics.
The use of spiritually significant numbers, like seven, is reinforced by the Trinitarian arrangement of the poem into three stanzas, and by the trimeter of the opening line.
It is anchored in two prosodic or generic forms that my preamble has already evoked: the endecasillabo, the principal meter in Italian poetry, whose oddness contrasts with the more standard, even-numbered tetrameter, pentameter, or trimeter; and a form of sonic organization that extends beyond the individual line, namely, ballad meter.
Gioia does something more specific and telling with the formal elements, however: although the poem as a whole has no fixed rhyme scheme, each of the last three eight-line stanzas closes with an abab quatrain, as in the passage quoted above, with rhymes on "fall" / "shelf" / "all"/ "myself." This device of finishing up a stretch of randomly rhyming verse with a tight pattern recalls Milton's Lycidas, which finishes with a perfect ottava rima stanza at the end of more than 180 lines of iambic pentameter with interspersed trimeter lines and sporadic rhymes.
Prosecuting barrister John Philpotts said the orders had been agreed in the cases of four men who had previously been jailed following Operation Trimeter. The case of a fifth man was adjourned.
And it is hard to argue that he has gone the more daring, and dubious, route and attempted to assign quantities to English syllables when his poem does scan as accentual-syllabic iambic pentameter and trimeter. In an effort to imitate Horace's metrical variety, the anonymous author of the 1653 translation used a rhymed version of this same 10/6/10/6 stanza for his translation of the "Pyrrha Ode," which might be taken for modest evidence that Milton composed his translation after that time.
their metrical form--usually employing iambic or trochaic trimeter or
trimeter, the meter appropriate to tragedy, (52) emphatically signaling
This involves the use of a large number of em dash signs (--): for example, (8-syllable dimeter verse) IX.65.24 "By purifying themselves, let them bring here to us rain from heaven and an abundance of heroes--the gods, the drops, being pressed"; (11-syllable trimeter verse) IV.2.10 "Whose ceremony you will enjoy, Agni--a god enjoying the well-positioned ceremony of a mortal, while you give--just his ritual offering will be pleasing, o youngest one--(the man) whose strengtheners we will be when he does (you) honor." This last stanza is an extreme example, but it illustrates how the translation is sometimes no easy read, particularly where hymns in the longer meters are concerned.