son·​net | \ ˈsä-nət How to pronounce sonnet (audio) \

Definition of sonnet

: a fixed verse form of Italian origin consisting of 14 lines that are typically 5-foot iambics rhyming according to a prescribed scheme also : a poem in this pattern

Examples of sonnet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sir Patrick Stewart has been reading a Shakespeare sonnet every day. Geoff Edgers, Washington Post, "Entertainers promised to see us through the quarantine. Even they are running out of steam.," 10 July 2020 Today was Auden — my major literary enthusiasm — and a few of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Alexander Mccall Smith, Los Angeles Times, "What Alexander McCall Smith is reading, hearing and watching in quarantine," 9 Apr. 2020 Frosting can be as basic as a few chocolate stripes on your peanut butter cookie or as complex as writing a sugary sonnet on your gingerbread. Popular Science, "Gear that will help you win a cookie contest," 2 Jan. 2020 In short, Ellen finds herself at the mercy of shell companies, which, like sonnets, are no less potent for existing only on paper. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Villains Hog the Spotlight in “The Laundromat”," 20 Sep. 2019 Her own verse often drew on classical forms such as the villanelle, sestina, tritina and sonnet, and sometimes incorporated references to ancient mythology and medieval legend. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Marie Ponsot, elegant poet of the sea, stars and her seven-child family, dies at 98," 8 July 2019 At dinner, Hudson casually mentioned that a distant grandmother on my mother’s side was the first writer to publish a sonnet cycle in English. Constance Grady, Vox, "Jane Austen was shockingly underpaid compared to other authors of her era," 10 Aug. 2019 Tzara, the Dadaist, is a desecrater of traditional art, and is seen cutting up a sonnet by Shakespeare into a bowler hat, the better to randomly reassemble its words. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Screwball Eggheads Tear Up the Library in ‘Travesties’," 24 Apr. 2018 Some interludes are silly, some are loud, some are sonnets. Los Angeles Times, "Hollywood Bowl rehearsals are a soothing morning escape. And they’re free," 1 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sonnet.' 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 sonnet

circa 1555, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sonnet

Italian sonetto, from Old Occitan sonet little song, from son sound, song, from Latin sonus sound

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Time Traveler for sonnet

Time Traveler

The first known use of sonnet was circa 1555

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Cite this Entry

“Sonnet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce sonnet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sonnet

: a poem made up of 14 lines that rhyme in a fixed pattern

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