sen·​ryu | \ ˈsen-rē-(ˌ)ü How to pronounce senryu (audio) \
plural senryu

Definition of senryu

: a 3-line unrhymed Japanese poem structurally similar to haiku but treating human nature usually in an ironic or satiric vein

Examples of senryu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The construction is the same -- three lines, 17 syllables, with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line and five syllables on the third line -- but the tone and subject matter of a senryu is different. Mary Colurso |, al, "Cryptic road sign in Alabama has some folks scratching their heads," 19 Nov. 2020 The event is open to anyone interested in learning about the modern haiku, senryu and haibun types of poetry, focusing on contemporary free verse forms, not the familiar five-seven-five-syllable structure. Carole Goldberg,, "Write Stuff: ‘Sex and the City’ author takes on life over 50," 7 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'senryu.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of senryu

1938, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for senryu


Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about senryu

Statistics for senryu

Cite this Entry

“Senryu.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on senryu

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for senryu Encyclopedia article about senryu

Comments on senryu

What made you want to look up senryu? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!