\ 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

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 Even the quiet and introspective practice of reading or reciting a prayer can be a form of stress-relief within itself — and if the verse happens to relate to your current emotions, then that's even better. Jackie Frere, Woman's Day, 3 May 2022 The verse and scenes in the video tell the story of Topolia and his family on the first day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 And this way of viewing the transition is now typically accepted even by those, such as Heaney, who prefer the earlier verse and lament what was lost. Alan Jacobs, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 Belle Époque verse drama, at least as typically rendered in English, are finally fully swept away. New York Times, 14 Apr. 2022 All the way from an open verse challenge on TikTok. Darlene Aderoju, Billboard, 8 Apr. 2022 Childers and Weir start the song off with their guitars, Childers handling the fingerstyle figure that opens it and Weir peeling off the song’s signature bend before the verse kicks in. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, 4 Apr. 2022 According to the Sifra on this verse, here we are told additional laws: that circumcision must be performed during the day and even on Shabbat. Rabbi Avi Weiss,, 28 Mar. 2022 In each of their black-and-white videos, usually about ten minutes long, a handful of characters, most of them acted by Mary, tell a story in rhyming verse full of off-kilter wordplay, double entendres, and semantic switcheroos. Elvia Wilk, The New York Review of Books, 23 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near verse

vers de société


verse anthem

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Statistics for verse

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Verse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for verse


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on verse

Nglish: Translation of verse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of verse for Arabic Speakers


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