\ ˈvərs How to pronounce verse (audio) \

Definition of verse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a line of metrical writing
2a(1) : metrical language
(2) : metrical writing distinguished from poetry especially by its lower level of intensity
b : poem
c : a body of metrical writing (as of a period or country)
4 : one of the short divisions into which a chapter of the Bible is traditionally divided


versed; versing

Definition of verse (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to make verse : versify

transitive verb

1 : to tell or celebrate in verse
2 : to turn into verse

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Synonyms for verse

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of verse in a Sentence

Noun The epic tale was written in verse. The second verse is sung the same way as the first.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Obbink tweezed out a fragment of Mark—a small, hatchet-shaped papyrus with verses from the gospel’s first chapter—for his visitors to see. Ariel Sabar, The Atlantic, "A Mystery at Oxford," 13 May 2020 Jackson doesn’t have to do much heavy lifting hear and the guest verse from Q-Tip is the cherry on top. cleveland, "90 greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame songs of the 1990s," 29 Apr. 2020 Its verses feature only Casablancas’s voice and a synthesizer. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Strokes’ Eerily Prescient “The New Abnormal”," 13 Apr. 2020 There's also a shorter, one-verse ending which is even more obviously a foreign addition to Mark's original. Bonnie Kristian, TheWeek, "Coronavirus and the mystery of St. Mark's Easter story," 12 Apr. 2020 But Scott has an innately good ear that’s been honed by years of writing and reciting verse. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Does this Center Stage play have a shot at Broadway? Baltimoreans will help decide its fate.," 25 Oct. 2019 Sproule took a break before the last verse, and Curreri played a solo — learned but casual, gentle above all else. Brendan Fitzgerald, Longreads, "“I miss my body when it was ferocious” The Transfiguration of Paul Curreri," 14 Mar. 2020 Murphy appeared as a guest on Clarkson’s talk show The Kelly Clarkson Show, and the two performed a version of the song, including a new verse by Clarkson. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "'Schitt's Creek' Spoof Song 'A Little Bit Alexis' Is a Little Bit of a Surprise Streaming Hit," 18 Feb. 2020 Ernie Harwell, the legendary baseball announcer, would recite those verses from Song of Solomon to kick off the baseball season for the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day. Brian Kaufman,, "Detroit Tigers' Opening Day put on pause by coronavirus pandemic," 30 Mar. 2020

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for verse


Middle English vers, fers, in part borrowed from Anglo-French vers, verse in part going back to Old English fers, both borrowed from Latin versus "furrow, measure of land, row, line, line of writing, line of metrical writing," action noun derived from vertere "to cause to turn, rotate," — more at worth entry 1


Middle English versen, in part verbal derivative of vers, fers verse entry 1 in part going back to Old English fersian "to versify," verbal derivative of fers verse entry 1

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Time Traveler for verse

Time Traveler

The first known use of verse was before the 12th century

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Statistics for verse

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Verse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for verse


How to pronounce verse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of verse

: writing in which words are arranged in a rhythmic pattern
: a part of a poem or song
: one of the parts of a chapter of the Bible


\ ˈvərs How to pronounce verse (audio) \

Kids Definition of verse

1 : a portion of a poem or song : stanza
2 : writing in which words are arranged in a rhythmic pattern
3 : one of the short parts of a chapter in the Bible

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More from Merriam-Webster on verse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for verse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with verse

Spanish Central: Translation of verse

Nglish: Translation of verse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of verse for Arabic Speakers

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