poetic justice


Definition of poetic justice

: an outcome in which vice is punished and virtue rewarded usually in a manner peculiarly or ironically appropriate

Examples of poetic justice in a Sentence

After the way he treated his staff, it was poetic justice that he lost his job.
Recent Examples on the Web Johnson is still the pollsters’ favorite—but there would be some poetic justice to the Conservative leader being ousted in this way. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "What else to watch for in the UK general election," 12 Dec. 2019 There’s also some poetic justice in his casting — Monte really is a tramp. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Disney found its new 'Lady and the Tramp' star in a Phoenix animal shelter," 20 Aug. 2019 And delivering a devastating, heart-breaking performance as a woman who made a career out of comebacks is the best kind of poetic justice. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Don’t call ‘Judy’ Renee Zellweger’s ‘comeback.’ It’s just one of her best performances ever," 26 Sep. 2019 In a stroke of poetic justice, Reichard struck both his kicks -- also from 48 and 49 yards -- through the uprights in Saturday’s 62-10 win over New Mexico State. Mike Rodak, al, "Will Reichard earning trust of Tua Tagovailoa, fans after first field goals," 7 Sep. 2019 Buy Photo There is a certain poetic justice when a building designed to incarcerate people is turned into venue for liberation. Inga Saffron, Philly.com, "One building's journey from a place of incarceration, to a venue of liberation," 12 Apr. 2018 It’s poetic justice that their glasses would later be worn by the likes of Lady Gaga, Kelly Osbourne, Ashani, Nicki Minaj and Prince. Halley Bondy, NBC News, "In the know: Women in the news 7/8-7/12," 12 July 2019 In this, the legions of fans who disagreed with the decision to part ways with Hinkie understandably see a form of poetic justice. David Murphy, Philly.com, "Sixers decided Bryan Colangelo's strength, like Sam Hinkie's, had become a liability | David Murphy," 8 June 2018 There’s a touch of poetic justice in the fact that a play about a man who refuses to believe his wife has so many female technicians commanding authority. Sonia Weiser, New York Times, "This ‘Othello’ Is Powered by Women," 6 June 2018

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

1691, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for poetic justice

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The first known use of poetic justice was in 1691

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Statistics for poetic justice

Last Updated

23 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Poetic justice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poetic%20justice. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for poetic justice

poetic justice


English Language Learners Definition of poetic justice

: a result or occurrence that seems proper because someone who has done bad things to other people is being harmed or punished

More from Merriam-Webster on poetic justice

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about poetic justice

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