\ˈvərs \

Definition of verse 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a line of metrical writing

2a(1) : metrical language

(2) : metrical writing distinguished from poetry especially by its lower level of intensity

(3) : poetry sense 2

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


verb (1)
versed; versing

Definition of verse (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to make verse : versify

transitive verb

1 : to tell or celebrate in verse

2 : to turn into verse


verb (2)
versed; versing

Definition of verse (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to familiarize by close association, study, or experience well versed in the theater

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for verse

Synonyms: Noun

minstrelsy, poetry, song

Antonyms: Noun


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carrabba sings a memorable verse on last October's Reaper, nothing,nowhere. Chris Payne, Billboard, "nothing,nowhere. Opens Up About Merging SoundCloud Rap & Emo, 'Secret Mad Scientist Stuff' On the Horizon," 9 July 2018 The texts often contained a Bible verse, or honored an esteemed guest, or simply noted where and when the rug was made. Glenn Dixon, Smithsonian, "The Age-Old Tradition of Armenian Carpet Making Refuses to Be Swept Under the Rug," 6 July 2018 But also, in the larger ‘verse, there are a million Carters, kids who can’t talk to their families about their emotional turmoil. Rebecca Farley,, "The Fosters Moves Out: Saying Goodbye To TV's Most Temperate Family Drama," 7 June 2018 At the turn of the decade, the band’s approach shifted into personal, personable verses. Zoë Madonna,, "Rays of light from Dirty Projectors on ‘Lamp-Lit Prose’," 11 July 2018 In Tennyson’s hands the light brigade’s disastrous frontal assault on Russian troops in the Crimean War produced some stirring verse. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Dick Durbin’s Supreme Sacrifice," 9 July 2018 History of Halloween Costumes and Trick-or-Treating Many people were said to dress up as saints and recite songs or verses from door to door. Marissa Gold, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About the History of Halloween and Why We Celebrate It," 6 July 2018 White House officials quote Bible verses to legitimize the administration’s family separation policy. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Before Trump, churches were increasingly multiracial. What next?," 3 July 2018 At a time when the Attorney General of the United States is using biblical verses to defend putting children in cages, and the Supreme Court is upholding anti-Muslim travel bans, very few reminders are more powerful or necessary. Ariana Romero,, "The Handmaid's Tale Needed Oprah As Much As We Do," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As such, in addition to front-end, back-end, and full-stack development courses, all graduates will now be versed in testifying in front of Congress. Ashwin Rodrigues, Fortune, "Satire: Coding Bootcamps Will Now Offer Congressional Testimony Practice," 13 Apr. 2018 Thanks to venerable places such as Bar Gernika, Leku Ona and Epi’s in Meridian, most denizens of the Treasure Valley are well versed in the ways of crispy croquetas, solomo sandwiches and beef tongue slowly cooked with peppers and garlic. James Patrick Kelly, idahostatesman, "Downtown Boise’s Txikiteo bolsters the list of locally owned Basque eateries," 30 May 2018 However, having spent six-years with the Blaugrana Thiago is well versed with the spirit and style required at the club, and the Camp Nou stopper was an advocate for his return - despite joining Barcelona a year after the midfielder's exit., "​Marc-Andre ter Stegen Encourages Barcelona to Re-Sign Bayern Outcast Thiago This Summer," 14 June 2018 Entertainment will feature some performers quite well-versed with the CCC, having previously been named the center's Best of Blueburg winners, based on performances at Blueburg Cafe open mic nights. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dine, bid, laugh and more at Cedarburg Cultural Center's annual Gala," 23 Apr. 2018 First-year Chargers coach Dennis Schlueter said his staff matches up well with that of the Rattlers, who do not have as much collective velocity but are more versatile and well-versed with the state’s biggest stage. Adam Zuvanich, San Antonio Express-News, "Top-ranked Reagan ready for arms race with Churchill," 17 Feb. 2018 Surveys show that doctors are not well-versed in genetics or statistics. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Sequencing patients’ genomes might not break the health care bank, study finds," 22 Mar. 2018 The Hoisington’s are well-versed on the topic of macaroni and cheese. James Patrick Kelly, idahostatesman, "Mad Mac expands to brick-and-mortar restaurant at the Boise Spectrum | Idaho Statesman," 8 Mar. 2018 Then the group recruited three men versed in weaponry to recreate the attack. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "Neanderthals Hunted in Groups, One More Strike Against the Dumb Brute Myth," 27 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of verse


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

Verb (1)

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

Verb (2)

1599, in the meaning defined above

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

Verb (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

Verb (2)

back-formation from versed, partial translation of Latin versātus, past participle of versārī "to come and go, be involved, concern oneself," passive (in middle sense) of versāre "to keep turning" — more at versant

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about verse

Statistics for verse

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for verse

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!