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 Kwanzaa celebrations often include singing and dancing, storytelling, poetry reading, African drumming and feasting. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "'A celebration of blackness': Everything you need to know about Kwanzaa in Louisville," 23 Dec. 2019 The Editor’s Choice recipient for story was 11th grader Fiza Kuzhiyil and for poetry was 5th grader Prisha Shivani. Joy Sewing, Houston Chronicle, "100 student authors honored, $100k raised at iWrite luncheon," 21 Nov. 2019 Linda Gregg, 76, who explored beauty, loss, struggle and desire in award-winning poetry that was spare but intense and deeply evocative, died March 20 in Manhattan. Seattle Times Staff & News Services, The Seattle Times, "This week’s passages," 29 Mar. 2019 From a critical look at Disney tales to poetry to a podcast that’ll get the kids in the carpool group interested in science, here’s a curated list of the podcasts that’ll make perfect earbud fodder for 2020. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian Magazine, "Eighteen Podcasts to Listen to in 2020," 25 Dec. 2019 The poets share their current work and discuss poetry in general. Carole Goldberg, courant.com, "Write Stuff: Retired New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff at Mark Twain House," 12 Dec. 2019 Leave it to Starbucks to find poetry in a hill of beans. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The world’s largest Starbucks, opening Friday in Chicago, is one of the finest flagships on the Mag Mile," 7 Nov. 2019 The series begins with Steinfeld’s Dickinson composing poetry in her bedroom when she’s interrupted by her sister, Lavinia (Anna Baryshnikov), who tells her that their mother wants her to fetch a pail of water. Kristin Vartan, EW.com, "The Dickinson recap binge guide: Episodes 1-5," 6 Nov. 2019 But the town is also just a town, with policemen who humor a silly old woman, up to a point, where some friends come visit and eat baked goods and talk about poetry, and the eeriness vanishes like a menacing shadow when the lamp turns on. Rachel Riederer, The New Republic, "Olga Tokarczuk’s Gripping Eco-Mystery," 10 Oct. 2019

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

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poetry.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poetry. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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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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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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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