Dac"tyl (?), n. [L. dactylus, Gr. a finger, a dactyl. Cf. Digit.]
A poetical foot of three sylables (xf5; xde; xde;), one long followed by two short, or one accented followed by two unaccented; as, L. tegm&icr;n&ecr;, E. mer"ciful; -- so called from the similarity of its arrangement to that of the joints of a finger.
[Written also dactyle
2. Zool. (a)
A finger or toe; a digit.
The claw or terminal joint of a leg of an insect or crustacean.
© Webster 1913.