po·​em ˈpō-əm How to pronounce poem (audio)
 also  ˈpȯ(-)im,
ˈpō-ˌem How to pronounce poem (audio)
: a composition in verse
: something suggesting a poem (as in expressiveness, lyricism, or formal grace)
the house we stayed in … was itself a poemH. J. Laski

Examples of poem in a Sentence

He wrote a poem about his parents. your assignment is to write two poems about springtime
Recent Examples on the Web The tale has long enchanted the city, dazzling visitors, prompting a poem by one of Brazil’s most celebrated poets — and giving rise to a series of interpretations. Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2023 The difference between now and Villon’s fourteen-sixties is that his poem’s current auditor is likely to hear its question being posed not metaphorically but as a matter of sobering fact. Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 The rollout includes an interactive climate atlas, a podcast series, an artwork collection and a poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 14 Nov. 2023 Her poems have appeared in The Best Australian Science Writing 2023, Meanjin, the Poetry Review and the Times Literary Supplement. Meredi Ortega, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2023 When Hugo wrote his poem, and for decades afterward, opinions about Napoleon tended to divide along the lines first set during his rule. David A. Bell, WSJ, 9 Nov. 2023 The night hit an emotional pinnacle when writer Cleo Wade read a poem from her new book, Remember Love. Vogue, 9 Nov. 2023 But, the poem says, traditional educational practices where children are told to listen and not speak or think without doing, rob them of those various languages—or learning opportunities. Sarah Lindenfeld Hall, Parents, 14 Nov. 2023 This poem appears in the December 2023 print edition. Jericho Brown, The Atlantic, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'poem.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French poeme, from Latin poema, from Greek poiēma, from poiein

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of poem was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near poem

Cite this Entry

“Poem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poem. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


po·​em ˈpō-əm How to pronounce poem (audio) -im How to pronounce poem (audio)
 also  ˈpō-ˌem
: a composition in verse

More from Merriam-Webster on poem

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