po·et·ry | \ ˈpō-ə-trē , -i-trē also ˈpȯ(-)i-trē \

Definition of poetry 

1a : metrical writing : verse

b : the productions of a poet : poems

2 : writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm

3a : something likened to poetry especially in beauty of expression

b : poetic quality or aspect the poetry of dance

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Synonyms & Antonyms for poetry


articulateness, eloquence, rhetoric



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Examples of poetry in a Sentence

I read the poem in a collection of modern poetry. She's published two books of lyric poetry and a novel. He found it easiest to express himself in the language of poetry. Her dancing is pure poetry.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The free program will begin at 8 p.m. with poetry from the Oakland Avenue Artists Coalition. Detroit Free Press, "For the 51st anniversary of rebellion, a free screening of '12th and Clairmount'," 13 July 2018 With a narrative form that has something of the beauty and rippling reach of epic poetry, Massini uses his family saga to craft a parable of what, arguably, has been the final nail in the coffin of the American Dream. Demetrios Matheou, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Lehman Trilogy': Theater Review," 13 July 2018 The event will be open to the community as a poetry event and memorial. Elizabeth Finny, miamiherald, "He marched for civil rights — and wrote a song about pastrami. Sherwood Ross has died at 85," 1 July 2018 The death of Donald Hall comes at a moment when his poetry feels newly relevant. Walt Hunter, The Atlantic, "Remembering Donald Hall, a Poet of Love and Loss," 27 June 2018 For a handful of immigrants who came to the U.S. from Central America — many as unaccompanied minors — poetry has given them a chance to tell the world both about their journeys north — and through the byzantine immigration system. CBS News, "Some young immigrants at detention center cope through poetry," 22 June 2018 Over the years, the shop evolved into something of a community hub, offering art shows, author signings, painting classes and slam poetry sessions. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Family-owned Charlotte bookstore files for bankruptcy," 18 June 2018 Michael wrote poetry and started a biographical book on his life, which included stories of his struggles and pain. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stigma of suicide: Mom of teen found by former Wauwatosa alderman speaks out," 27 June 2018 And, according to a new report, the former Suits actress is so elated to have met her prince that she's even been writing poetry about him. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Read a Love Poem at the Royal Wedding Reception, Which Apparently Made Everyone Cry," 28 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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More Definitions for poetry



English Language Learners Definition of poetry

: the writings of a poet : poems

: something that is very beautiful or graceful


po·et·ry | \ ˈpō-ə-trē \

Kids Definition of poetry

1 : writing that usually involves figurative language and lines that have rhythm and sometimes rhyme : verse

2 : the writings of a poet

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Comments on poetry

What made you want to look up poetry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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