po·​em | \ˈpō-əm, -im, ˈpōm also ˈpȯ(-)im, ˈpō-ˌem \

Definition of poem 

1 : a composition in verse

2 : something suggesting a poem (as in expressiveness, lyricism, or formal grace) the house we stayed in … was itself a poem— H. J. Laski

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Synonyms for poem


lyric, rune, song, verse

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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

Libra is the sign of balance and relationships, which explains why T.S. Elliot, creator of some of the best love poems on Earth, won a Nobel Prize. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Which Zodiac Sign Has the Most Nobel Prize Winners? The Answer May Surprise You, Unless You're a Gemini," 27 Aug. 2018 His illustrations, one-liners, and miniature line poems caught the attention of almost 600,000 followers—including humorists, comedians, and artists like Patton Oswalt, Will Arnett, and Mara Wilson. Nojan Aminosharei, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jonny Sun Knows That Twitter Can Still Be The Internet's Good Place," 22 Oct. 2018 Her activewear could be closer-read than a Wallace Stevens poem. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "No One Did Denim Better Than Princess Diana," 21 Aug. 2018 There was a musical written about it and poems composed, Holbrook said. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "London museum is livestreaming a key 21st-century artifact—festering sewage," 18 Aug. 2018 Bryant hired Keane to animate Dear Basketball, a love poem that required two drafts. Lee Jenkins, SI.com, "Fantastic Voyage: Kobe Bryant Is Now an Entertainment Mogul with a Friendlier Mission," 12 July 2018 Hiaasen was honored with stories, poems, and songs. CBS News, "Capital Gazette shooting suspect Jarrod Ramos vowed to kill "every person present": Report," 3 July 2018 Hiaasen and his slain colleagues -- Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters -- were remembered in stories, poems, prayers and songs at a ‘‘celebration of life’’ ceremony Monday evening. David Mcfadden, BostonGlobe.com, "Newspaper shooter sent ‘kill’ letter before attack, police say," 3 July 2018 My stories and poems are dreams and visions that ‘appear’ and are augmented by fragmentary observations. Frederick N. Rasmussen, baltimoresun.com, "Elisabeth S. Schleussner, former Baltimore Sun art and architecture critic," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poem.' 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 poem

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for poem

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

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Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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

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More Definitions for poem



English Language Learners Definition of poem

: a piece of writing that usually has figurative language and that is written in separate lines that often have a repeated rhythm and sometimes rhyme


po·​em | \ˈpō-əm \

Kids Definition of poem

: a piece of writing often having figurative language and lines that have rhythm and sometimes rhyme

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More from Merriam-Webster on poem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with poem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for poem

Spanish Central: Translation of poem

Nglish: Translation of poem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of poem for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about poem

Comments on poem

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


to enclose within walls

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