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


minstrelsy, poesy, song, verse



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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

Justin Phillip Reed won the award for poetry for his collection Indecency, and slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo took the award for young people’s literature for her debut YA novel in verse, The Poet X. Constance Grady, Vox, "Sigrid Nunez wins the 2018 National Book Award for The Friend," 15 Nov. 2018 The Pulitzers that Canedy has inherited and that Lamar was honored by have become more diverse since 1950, when Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African American to receive a Pulitzer, for poetry. Danielle C. Belton, The Root, "Kendrick Lamar Gets His Pulitzer, but It’s Pulitzer Administrator Dana Canedy Who Is a Prize," 31 May 2018 The impetus of the project is the poetry of Antonio Skarmeta and Pablo Neruda, of Chile, which was set to music by composer Pamela Illanes-Tatsukota. Joan Rusek, cleveland.com, "Celebrate Mother Earth with multimedia exhibit at Valley Art Center: Valley Views," 16 Mar. 2018 The lighting is poetry, as is the food, with some delightfully unexpected meters. Gemma Askham, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Best Day Trips from Barcelona," 4 Mar. 2018 Too Black said his pursuit of poetry began in the midst of noisy study halls at Muncie Central High School. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Art & Soul performers: Black history and U.S. history are inseparable," 31 Jan. 2018 Bhakti, or devotion, is a spiritual path that uses music, dance, poetry, literature and such rituals as bathing, dressing and garlanding statues believed to house deities. Lee Lawrence, WSJ, "‘Seeing the Divine: Pahari Painting of North India’ Review: Multifaceted Devotion," 16 Feb. 2019 In Brodsky two realms Jackie admired merged: poetry and Russian culture. Sam Kashner And Nancy Schoenberger, Town & Country, "How Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill Found Careers and Happiness in the 1970s," 13 Aug. 2018 Relationships worthy of poetry have overcome more than a little kink incompatibility, and sometimes you might be turned on by different things for totally different reasons. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Kink-Shaming 101: The Stigma-Free Guide to Disclosing Your Sexual Kinks and Fetishes," 3 Oct. 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 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).


an enemy or opponent

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