diastole diastole
 di-as'-to-lee from Gk. dia, "asunder" and stellein, "to place"
eciasis, ectasis

To lengthen a vowel or syllable beyond its typical length. A kind of metaplasm.
Note: Diastole is sometimes employed for the sake of meter, and may result (in English) in the shifting of accent from one syllable to another.

The third syllable of "serviceable" is normally short, but as this word occurs in the following line of iambic pentameter, that syllable is lengthened because it takes the stress of the meter's rhythm (stressed syllables are underlined):

I know thee well; a serviceable villain, —Shakespeare, King Lear 4.6.251

Related Figures

See Also

  Sources: Mosellanus ("ectasis") a3v; Susenbrotus (1540) 22 ("diastole," "ectasis"); Sherry (1550) 27 ("ectasis," "extensio"); Peacham (1577) E3r

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Gideon O. Burton, Brigham Young University
Please cite "Silva Rhetoricae" (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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