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 Marjorie Price’s illustrations are the perfect complement to this collection of both free verse and traditional poetry. Augusta Scattergood, The Christian Science Monitor, "Spring picture books to read with the ones you love," 18 May 2020 Her language spills over the page in free verse that suggests Ntozake Shange but lays down its own rhythms. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "The Best Books of 2019," 2 Dec. 2019 Written as prose poetry and free verse, the sweep is as vast as a life cycle: from childhood to parenthood to the loss of a parent, invoking an overall vision that is clear-eyed and skinned, yet somehow courageous and even hopeful. oregonlive, "4 Oregon poets’ new collections plumb the past and illuminate the present," 9 Nov. 2019 The event is open to anyone interested in learning about the modern haiku, senryu and haibun types of poetry, focusing on contemporary free verse forms, not the familiar five-seven-five-syllable structure. Carole Goldberg,, "Write Stuff: ‘Sex and the City’ author takes on life over 50," 7 Aug. 2019 The language of James Joyce or E. E. Cummings suggests an alluring parallel to Internet-ese, as do other twentieth-century innovations (free verse, stream of consciousness, profanity) that asked an unbuttoned style to represent human interiority. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "Is the Internet Making Writing Better?," 26 July 2019 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

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.

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First Known Use of free verse

1813, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for free verse

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The first known use of free verse was in 1813

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Statistics for free verse

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Free verse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with free verse Encyclopedia article about free verse

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