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poetic license

license or liberty taken by a poet, prose writer, or other artist in deviating from rule, conventional form, logic, or fact, in order to produce a desired effect.
Origin of poetic license
First recorded in 1780-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for poetic license
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It certainly has the merit of forming a record in poetic license.

  • The numbers given here are an instance of the poetic license.

  • I have taken very little "poetic license" with their traditions; none, whatever, with their customs and superstitions.

    Legends of the Northwest Hanford Lennox Gordon
  • Nor was I surprised to find myself there, because, as a romancer, I have a poetic license to go anywhere and see everything.

    The King of Schnorrers Israel Zangwill
  • It is only by something akin to poetic license that we can speak of lower and higher strata of mind.

    Outwitting Our Nerves Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury
  • By poetic license, quite pardonable when assumed by Austin Dobson or by Praed, we speak of the leisure of the eighteenth century.

    London Walter Besant
  • Thus "pike" is no doubt an example of "poetic license," as pick, the word he really wants, would not rhyme with strike!

    Proverb Lore F. Edward Hulme
  • There is no poetic license, no picturesque exaggeration in this statement.

    Gairloch In North-West Ross-Shire John H. Dixon, F.S.A. Scot
  • The supposition that the eye of the eagle is green must be regarded as a poetic license.

    The Ornithology of Shakespeare James Edmund Harting
Contemporary definitions for poetic license
noun's 21st Century Lexicon
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Idioms and Phrases with poetic license

poetic license

Also,artistic license. The liberty taken by a writer or artist in deviating from conventional form or fact to achieve an effect. For example, I've never seen grass or a tree of that color; but that's artistic license. [ Late 1700s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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