\ ˈvərs \

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

lyric, poem, rune, song

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Examples of verse in a Sentence


The epic tale was written in verse. The second verse is sung the same way as the first.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That customer used AT&T’s U-verse service, not DirecTV. ... WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 30 Jan. 2019 Of all the shows on this list, Loudermilk is going to be the toughest to find since Audience Network basically only exists on AT&T U-verse and DirecTV Now. Pilot Viruet, The Verge, "The 12 best overlooked TV shows of 2018," 14 Dec. 2018 The Echo smart plug, for hooking in basically anything powered by electricity into your Echo-verse. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "The age of new Echos is over; the age of Echo accessories is starting," 21 Sep. 2018 Noticeably missing from the VMAs performance, however, was the quick cameo Madonna makes partway through the video, reciting a Bible verse while Grande, wielding a sledgehammer, lip-syncs along. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Ariana Grande's 2018 MTV VMAs Performance of "God Is a Woman" Featured 50 Diverse Female Dancers," 20 Aug. 2018 The latter refers to Sessions quoting a Bible verse to defend the administration's policy. CBS News, "5 first ladies speak out on family separations at border," 19 June 2018 Trump administration officials frequently point to their faith as a guide, including Sessions, who quoted a Bible verse to support prosecuting anyone who crosses the border from Mexico. John Hilliard,, "New England UCC churches look to organize progressive ‘Christian voice’," 16 June 2018 On one wrist, Emery, a member of New Hope Baptist Church, wore a rubber bracelet with Ephesians 4:8, a Bible verse that ends with God bestowing gifts. Otis R. Taylor Jr., San Francisco Chronicle, "Homeless man in Oakland lives in a box while waiting to move in to a shed," 11 May 2018 A day after news of the suit broke, Gaines tweeted a plaintive Bible verse. Kaitlin Menza, Country Living, "Chip Gaines Tweets Bible Verse After His Ex-Partners Sue," 28 Apr. 2017

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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Statistics for verse

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for verse

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

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More Definitions for verse



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 \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with verse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for verse

Spanish Central: Translation of verse

Nglish: Translation of verse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of verse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on verse

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


to deny responsibility for

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