\ 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

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

João sang the first verse in Portugese; Astrud the second in an English translation. Tom Maxwell, Longreads, "Remembering João Gilberto," 10 July 2019 Fans of the Miles Morales Spider-Man comics and the recent animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse will know that Aaron Davis operates as a thief called Prowler. Time, "What the Ending of Spider-Man: Far From Home Means for the Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe," 2 July 2019 The Commonwealth, which appears later in the comic run from Robert Kirkman, is a more advanced society than most other communities in the Dead-verse. Nick Romano,, "Everything we know (so far) about the three rings in The Walking Dead universe," 2 July 2019 Metro TV is broadcasted on Spectrum Cable channel 184 or AT&T U-verse channel 99. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Library hours, police recruiting, pools: What's at stake at Tuesday's budget vote," 25 June 2019 McKissic said the admonitions in that verse, and 1 Timothy 2:12, have been misused., "Two Baptist men debate: Should women preach on Sunday?," 10 June 2019 The maps are bordered with sayings about nature, some are Bible verses, others quotes from literature. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "Arden Hills cartographer’s detailed, handmade maps are works of art — functional, too," 21 June 2019 And his favorite Bible verse was John 15:13, the one that says there is no greater love than laying down one’s life for friends. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Fallen Colorado State Patrol trooper remembered as “knight in shining armor” during service," 21 June 2019 Taylor Swift When Swift starts in on a verse about how all the women in the music scene are queens, there’s a quick recreation of a RuPaul’s Drag Race-style face-off. Constance Grady, Vox, "An annotated guide to Taylor Swift’s star-studded “You Need to Calm Down” video," 17 June 2019

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

15 Jul 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 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

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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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