\ 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 Then the song switches between verses from Bieber's and Gomez's respective songs, coalescing into a slower pop jam that is undeniably catchy. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Selena Gomez’s ‘Lose You to Love Me’ Was Remixed With Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’," 6 Nov. 2019 In accordance with the title, Lil’ Kim’s new album has 9 songs and includes guest verses from fellow acts like Rick Ross, O.T. Genasis and City Girls. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Lil' Kim's Daughter Royal Reign Is Her Mom's Biggest Fan In This Cute Video," 16 Oct. 2019 The newspapers said the verse was the clue that would explain a gruesome murder at a downtown residential hotel. oregonlive, "‘The damsel is not dead’: Bible-quoting 1958 murder in downtown Portland led to weeks of fear, speculation," 10 Oct. 2019 Berezovsky sings a vaudeville number; the origins of polonium are outlined in verse. The Economist, "A bold new play about Alexander Litvinenko’s murder," 5 Sep. 2019 In other words, no universe is perfect, including the uni-verse. Paul Lukas,, "Welcome to the Uni-Verse: Explore the World of Athletics Aesthetics with Uni Watch," 13 Aug. 2019 Justin Phillip Reed won the award for poetry for his collection Indecency, and slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo took the award for young people’s literature for her debut YA novel in verse, The Poet X. Constance Grady, Vox, "Sigrid Nunez wins the 2018 National Book Award for The Friend," 15 Nov. 2018 The Wilner household was a U-verse household, until AT&T dropped the Pac-12 Networks. Jon Wilner, The Denver Post, "Saturday Night Five: Arizona’s wild loss, Washington’s QB carousel, recruiting budgets and the ACC Network as a comp," 26 Aug. 2019 Redd spits just eight bars on a verse that’s rather vulgar. Troy L. Smith,, "MGK teams with Trippie Redd for ‘Candy’ off ‘Hotel Diablo’," 5 July 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

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for verse

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

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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

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 speed up the process or progress of

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