There are plenty of rhyming dictionaries; is there such a thing as a metrical dictionary? Sometimes in fixed-form poetry, I need a word to fit a specific position in a line, and it would be really handy to have a database that organized words by syllable count and stress pattern, as well as rhyme. It would be useful for songwriting too.

Example use case: Suppose I am looking for a word that is an anapest (three syllables, two short followed by one long, like "billionaire"). It would be great to be able to query a scansion dictionary to be given a list of them.

A combined rhyme/scansion dictionary would be a killer app. So that if, let's say, I wanted (1) an anapest that (2) rhymes with "hair," I could query that, and be given a list of results (e.g. "billionaire" "debonair" "laissez-faire" etc.)

Does such a thing exist?

  • 2
    The right word is 'magical,' honestly!
    – Mussri
    Sep 20, 2012 at 21:25
  • I know this isn't quite what you asked about (because I'd be interested in the same thing) but you may find this link interesting, prosody.lib.virginia.edu May 17, 2021 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


While I don't know of any straight dictionaries that organize words by number of syllables, many rhyming dictionaries will organize rhymes by how many syllables they contain, or by how many syllables rhyme. ("Example" is a three-syllable word that's a two-syllable rhyme with "ample" and a one-syllable rhyme with "steeple".)


Here's something that might help: http://www.howmanysyllables.com/index.html

You enter a word and it tells you how many syllables it has (Not terribly useful), but the really useful part is that it lists related words and phrases, by syllable. For example, enter fire, and you get everything from blaze (1 syllable) to conflagration (4 syllables).

The downside is that it's not separated by part of speech or different meanings, so the list for fire includes noun and verb meanings, and the verb meanings include launching or shooting something as well as firing someone from a job.

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