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[poh-i-tis] /ˈpoʊ ɪ tɪs/
a woman who writes poetry.
Origin of poetess
First recorded in 1520-30; poet + -ess
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for poetess
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Gulnare was represented by a girl with the body of a Peri and the soul of a poetess.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • After Ansaldo's death, we hear nothing more about the poetess.

  • But it was not her religion which supplied the poetess with this pretty fancy.

    India and the Indians Edward F. Elwin
  • The poetess was born at Eyam in Derbyshire, where her father was then the Rector.

    Anna Seward Stapleton Martin
  • The lines of Mrs Sigourney, the American poetess, please me most.

    Diary in America, Series One Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)
  • "I think our Aggie is going to be a poetess," said Tess, to Ruth, secretly.

  • But a poetess must have experienced all feelings, or she could not describe them.

    The Daughter of an Empress Louise Muhlbach
  • How, at his age, could he see the distinction between the poetess and the Woman?

    My Novel, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • "You are decking yourself in borrowed feathers, poetess," replied he, laughing.

    The Emperor, Complete Georg Ebers
Word Origin and History for poetess

1520s, from poet + -ess. Earlier fem. form was poetresse (early 15c.). Old Norse had skaldkona "poetess."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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