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 Meeting in the playoff for a second consecutive year is almost poetic justice with how the last 12 months have gone. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is aware of how Ohio State football fans feel about him, he just doesn’t care," 28 Dec. 2020 The movie’s implacable sense of poetic justice is only equaled by its graphic smarts. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, "My Quarantine: Cannes, Interrupted," 13 May 2020 And really, who could be immune to the poetic justice of Ginsburg’s replacement being named by the first female president? Washington Post, "RBG and the empty triumph of liberal pop culture," 21 Sep. 2020 At that notorious intersection, the potential for poetic justice is most resonant. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: U.S. should build a memorial ‘plague column’ for COVID-19, but where? Here’s an idea," 5 May 2020 The hunters are exacting their poetic justice, and their methods of pain skirt the line of overkill. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: For Amazon's 'Hunters,' killing Nazis comes first; they'll figure out the rest later," 19 Feb. 2020 Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, or to a lesser degree, 1917, smacks of poetic justice. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Parasite Swept The 2020 Oscars, Taking Home Best Picture & More," 9 Feb. 2020 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

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

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Poetic justice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poetic%20justice. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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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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