po·​em ˈpō-əm How to pronounce poem (audio)
 also  ˈpȯ(-)im,
ˈpō-ˌem How to pronounce poem (audio)
: a composition in verse
: something suggesting a poem (as in expressiveness, lyricism, or formal grace)
the house we stayed in … was itself a poemH. J. Laski

Examples of poem in a Sentence

He wrote a poem about his parents. your assignment is to write two poems about springtime
Recent Examples on the Web At one point, Witold bequeaths Beatriz a collection of poems in a box labelled with her name and the phone number of Sala Mompou. Jennifer Wilson, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2023 The National Cathedral also commissioned the writer Elizabeth Alexander to write a poem that will in the coming months be carved into the stone beneath the new windows. Dakin Andone, CNN, 24 Sep. 2023 Since releasing The Hope Six Demolition Project in 2016, Harvey has devoted recent years to creative pursuits such as the full-length narrative poem Oriam in 2021. Jonathan Cohen, Spin, 23 Sep. 2023 Furthermore, the poem above leaves little ambiguity about where the author’s sympathies lie with respect to anticolonial movements of the day. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 21 Sep. 2023 Individual schools in Florida have also banned the Ruby Bridges movie, which shares the story of the first Black student to integrate her elementary school in New Orleans, and Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb, the poem read at Joe Biden’s inauguration. Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani, The New Republic, 21 Sep. 2023 The two went to work, transcribing the poems, making editorial decisions about word choice, adding titles, standardizing punctuation, and organizing the verse by theme. Martha Ackmann, The Atlantic, 20 Sep. 2023 Interspersed poems touchingly personalize loss, but also transfigure it. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 16 Sep. 2023 At the show yesterday afternoon, each seat was set with a poem by Vietnamese-American poet Ocean Vuong alongside a self-portrait, taken in the side-view mirror of his car, printed on a Helmut Lang scarf. Tara Gonzalez, Harper's BAZAAR, 9 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'poem.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French poeme, from Latin poema, from Greek poiēma, from poiein

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of poem was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near poem

Cite this Entry

“Poem.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poem. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


po·​em ˈpō-əm How to pronounce poem (audio) -im How to pronounce poem (audio)
 also  ˈpō-ˌem
: a composition in verse

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