poetics

noun

po·​et·​ics pō-ˈe-tiks How to pronounce poetics (audio)
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
1
a
: a treatise on poetry or aesthetics
b
or less commonly poetic : poetic theory or practice
also : a particular theory of poetry or sometimes other literary forms
a feminist poetics
2
: poetic feelings or utterances

Examples of poetics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In his collaborations with Bernardo Bertolucci, Ridley Scott, Sam Raimi, Michael Bay and Gus Van Sant (among many, many others), Scalia has proved able to both adhere to and reinvent the poetics and formal research of these auteurs. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 June 2023 Bassiouni’s approach is informed by the aesthetic values of Islamic art, such as the importance ascribed to geometry, and the notion of euphony with regard to the poetics of the Quran. M. Z. Adnan, The New Yorker, 27 Feb. 2023 This revelation leads into a section on the speaker’s survival; her poetics both name a pattern of neglect for Black women — from Aaliyah to Oluwatoyin Salau — and mark the specificity of her own abuse. Ryan Lee Wong, Los Angeles Times, 20 Dec. 2022 The memorial’s spatial poetics—the balance between circular pathways and blocks of granite, its enduring engravings of names in stone and perennials for texture and color through the seasons—ground its intent. Jesse Dorris, The New Yorker, 26 Nov. 2022 Now in its third decade, Macondo offers workshops to a diverse student body on subjects ranging from young-adult literature to translingual poetics. Yxta Maya Murray, The New Yorker, 21 Sep. 2022 Her films reimagine characters borrowed from politics, mythology, geology or science and travel across different dimensions of time and space, addressing the issues of an uncertain future through specific narratives and poetics. Leo Barraclough, Variety, 25 June 2022 The point is the poetics of it all, the atmosphere, the vibe. Vogue, 17 June 2022 The building block of the internet is a referential, signifying, mimetic, poetics. Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'poetics.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of poetics was in 1644

Dictionary Entries Near poetics

Cite this Entry

“Poetics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poetics. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on poetics

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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