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

His poetry is in its natural environment amongst leaves and dirt. Tyler Malone, latimes.com, "The road taken by Robert Frost through New England," 29 June 2018 The passing of Donald Hall, who died Saturday at 89, gained attention across the country because of his poetry – no great surprise since Hall had served as US poet laureate from 2006 to 2007. Danny Heitman, The Christian Science Monitor, "Donald Hall: poet, farmer, indefatigable observer of life," 26 June 2018 One wants people 200 years from now to love your poetry. David Mehegan And Joseph P. Kahn, BostonGlobe.com, "Donald Hall, former US poet laureate known for his ties to New Hampshire, dies at 89," 24 June 2018 One wants people 200 years from now to love your poetry. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Donald Hall, former U.S. poet laureate who wrote of nature and loss, dies at 89," 24 June 2018 The Southwest's climate and landscapes have helped shape his poetry. David Chorlton, azcentral, "Poetry spot: 'The Crowd' by David Chorlton," 11 May 2018 Entrants were given the option of reading their poetry during the showcase, which was open to the public. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Rancho Bernardo High student poets compete in sixth annual contest," 4 May 2018 In the past, Lovelace was on Tumblr posting variations of her poetry and prose. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Don't Call Them Instagram Poets," 3 May 2018 And what is the connection between art criticism and reportage and fiction and poetry? Frederick N. Rasmussen, baltimoresun.com, "Elisabeth S. Schleussner, former Baltimore Sun art and architecture critic," 27 June 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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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