po·​et·​ry | \ ˈpō-ə-trē How to pronounce poetry (audio) , -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



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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 His mother wrote poetry and played piano; his uncles and cousins were musicians. Makeda Easter Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "John Outterbridge, a Central L.A. assemblage artist and educator, dies at 87," 23 Dec. 2020 Artists 4 Black Lives featured more than 25 performers singing, speaking and reading poetry on social justice issues. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Faces of the arts Shutdown: Actor Eboni Muse: ‘There are days ... when I just want to sleep in my bed all day’," 20 Dec. 2020 Her family, too, will be gathering on Zoom to discuss the seven principles, light candles and read poetry. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Virtual Kwanzaa celebrations offer a moment of reflection after a difficult year for the Black community," 18 Dec. 2020 The Swedish Academy said Dylan wrote poetry for the ear. CBS News, "Bob Dylan's entire song catalog sold to Universal Music," 7 Dec. 2020 Before the crash, Rushin wrote poetry, played the piano and took classes at Old Dominion University. Washington Post, "A young Black man with autism received a pardon, but remains behind bars. It’s time to ‘Free Matthew Rushin’.," 21 Nov. 2020 Wallace Stevens spent his whole working life at Hartford Insurance while writing poetry most every day or evening. Jack Schnedler, Arkansas Online, "J. Chester Johnson," 8 Nov. 2020 Killebrew started writing poetry long after the drugs, lost jobs and prison terms. USA Today, "25 years ago, Black men united in their pain – and power. This is what the Million Man March meant to participants.," 15 Oct. 2020 There was swimming, biking, boating, writing poetry, and composing songs. Star Tribune, "Journal from Wisconsin cabin stuffed full of memories," 15 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for poetry

Time Traveler

The first known use of poetry was in the 14th century

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Statistics for poetry

Last Updated

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Poetry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poetry. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for poetry


How to pronounce poetry (audio)

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 How to pronounce poetry (audio) \

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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