free verse


Definition of free verse

: verse whose meter is irregular in some respect or whose rhythm is not metrical

Examples of free verse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His style is like free verse, at once spare and dense with feeling and meaning. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Five Brothers, Abandoned," 11 Oct. 2018 Somehow, Acevedo’s powerful free verse manages to stay contained within the book’s covers. Julie Fogliano, New York Times, "Speaking Truth, Beautifully, to Shattered Young People," 13 Apr. 2018 On Thursday, May 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., a flying with Words workshop will teach how to give free verse more rhythm and flow. Carole Goldberg,, "Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar, Blanche McCrary Boyd To Give Book Talks," 2 May 2018 Still, the focus here remains the lyrics, which seem to flow unbidden from Elverum in long streams of hyper-detailed, confessional free verse. Terence Cawley,, "On ‘Now Only,’ Mount Eerie peers into a void," 14 Mar. 2018 Reynolds writes this in free verse, an effective strategy that packs an emotional punch. Susan Glaser,, "New in young-adult fiction: authors tackle gun violence, sexual assault, domestic abuse," 25 Jan. 2018 Douglas, evidently not a fan of free verse, was unmoved. Kevin Canfield, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘The Most Dangerous Man in America,’ by Minutaglio and Davis," 5 Jan. 2018 With Hurricane Irma bulldozing its way through Florida, Lil B decided to spread the wealth and provide free verses to those affected in the Sunshine State. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Lil B Offers Free Guest Verses to Florida Rappers Affected by Hurricane Irma," 11 Sep. 2017 Lil B is giving free verses to all artist from Huston Texas for sept - Lil B Kacey Musgraves volunteered by answering phones during a Red Cross donation telethon Tuesday. Anna Tingley, Billboard, "Kevin Hart, The Kardashians, Chris Brown & More Help Raise Over $1 Million for Hurricane Harvey Relief," 30 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'free verse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of free verse

1813, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about free verse

Statistics for free verse

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for free verse

The first known use of free verse was in 1813

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for free verse

free verse


English Language Learners Definition of free verse

: poetry that does not rhyme and does not have a regular rhythm

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on free verse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with free verse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for free verse Encyclopedia article about free verse

Comments on free verse

What made you want to look up free verse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!