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 Go to the San Diego Poetry of Resilience site (poetry-sandiego.hub.arcgis.com) for information. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Celebrate National Poetry Month with San Diego poets, a rebel ‘Dickinson’ and free online workshops," 9 Apr. 2021 The songs are far more lighthearted than most of Hughes' poetry, but each is richly evocative. Rob Hubbard, Star Tribune, "Cantus hits a high note in 'Fields of Wonder,' devoted to Black composers," 9 Apr. 2021 This tradition is not just musical notes but also words — poetry. New York Times, "The Skagit Valley," 8 Apr. 2021 Each has walked her own path, Jill mixing frank, soulful songwriting and spoken-word poetry in her catalog while Erykah blended funk, soul, and hip-hop into her own strange brew. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, "All the Verzuz Battles, Ranked," 7 Apr. 2021 Read on for Anderon’s thoughts on songwriting, lyrics, and poetry. Brenna Ehrlich, Rolling Stone, "Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson Talks Poetry, Songwriting in ‘Silent Singing’ Excerpt," 7 Apr. 2021 But there was always a surname, always the word poetry. Doreen St. Félix, Vogue, "The Rise and Rise of Amanda Gorman," 7 Apr. 2021 While poetry often uses analogy and plays with language, the obituary poems seem very different, plainspoken. Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times, "How grief became path-breaking poetry in Victoria Chang’s ‘Obit’," 6 Apr. 2021 Padnos, a cultured polyglot, had packed his middle-aged head with poetry. Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, "The Awful Wisdom of the Hostage," 5 Apr. 2021

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

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Poetry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poetry. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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Comments on poetry

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