poetic justice

noun

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 There is a certain poetic justice, then, to Black Widow being the movie to pull this balance off, in part because its titular superhero has received some of the worst treatment by Marvel over the years. Jeva Lange, The Week, 7 July 2021 Emily Dickinson is looking for poetic justice… or maybe just healing. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 13 Oct. 2021 Finishing her second Olympics — and perhaps her career — on balance beam is poetic justice of sorts for Biles. Will Graves, courant.com, 3 Aug. 2021 Finishing her second Olympics — and perhaps her career — on balance beam is poetic justice of sorts for Biles. Will Graves, courant.com, 3 Aug. 2021 And, because unfettered free trade, if only by expanding the size of the global economy, helped get us into this mess, perhaps there’s some poetic justice if restricting that trade can help with the solution. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 21 July 2021 Finishing her second Olympics — and perhaps her career — on balance beam is poetic justice of sorts for Biles. Will Graves, courant.com, 3 Aug. 2021 And by a great stroke of poetic justice, the new governor will be a woman, New York’s first ever. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 10 Aug. 2021 In a moment of poetic justice, John B. inadvertently recreates the moment in which Ward beat up Big John. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, 4 Aug. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of poetic justice

1691, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About poetic justice

Time Traveler for poetic justice

Time Traveler

The first known use of poetic justice was in 1691

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near poetic justice

poeticize

poetic justice

poetic license

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for poetic justice

Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Poetic justice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poetic%20justice. Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for poetic justice

poetic justice

noun

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!