po·​em | \ ˈpō-əm How to pronounce poem (audio) , -im, ˈpōm also ˈpȯ(-)im, ˈpō-ˌem How to pronounce poem (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for poem


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 So much that is left unsaid in daily life about identity, loss and love is said here, distilled into 40-plus poems that read like concentrates of memory and emotion. oregonlive, "Chuck Palahniuk plans Portland book signing for his new memoir-slash-writing workshop," 3 Jan. 2020 But Patti Smith delivered the gift of her powerful words through a mindful poem that touched on the young activist's revolutionary work. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Patti Smith Pens Earth-Conscious Poem for Greta Thunberg's 17th Birthday," 3 Jan. 2020 Montgomery Ward transformed the poem into a 32-page booklet distributed to children for free—a meaningful gesture in a country still shaken by the Great Depression. Michelle Delgado, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Magical Animation of ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’," 23 Dec. 2019 The magazine's founder Rufus Porter ran two poems on the cover of the first issue, and that tradition continued beyond his relatively brief tenure until September 15, 1849. Curtis Brainard, Scientific American, "175th Anniversary Year Jamboree," 23 Dec. 2019 Her output was prodigious: Dickinson composed almost 1,800 poems, but fewer than a dozen were published in her lifetime. BostonGlobe.com, ": Dickinson composed almost 1,800 poems, but fewer than a dozen were published in her lifetime. Among them, one of her most famous, began:," 20 Dec. 2019 Inspired, of course, by Clement Clarke Moore's A Visit From Saint Nicholas, the show begins with a father (Alexis Vigneault) attempting to read that classic 1823 poem to his headphone-wearing daughter Isabella (Michelle Clark). Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Twas the Night Before...': Theater Review," 17 Dec. 2019 Stronger Magic’ and the poem recited by my grandmother on the album had struck a chord in him. Sydney Scott, Essence, "Leslie Odom Jr. Taps 'Burning Cane' Director For 'Stronger Magic' Music Video," 17 Dec. 2019 About 30 students turned out for the walkout, where poems were read and students spoke out against gun violence. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "High school students walk out of school to bring attention to gun violence in schools," 13 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about poem

Time Traveler for poem

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for poem

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poem.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poem. Accessed 24 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for poem


How to pronounce poem (audio) How to pronounce poem (audio)

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 How to pronounce poem (audio) \

Kids Definition of poem

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on poem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for poem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


a feeling of well-being or elation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!