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90s Slang You Should Know


[poh-i-tree] /ˈpoʊ ɪ tri/
the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.
literary work in metrical form; verse.
prose with poetic qualities.
poetic qualities however manifested:
the poetry of simple acts and things.
poetic spirit or feeling:
The pianist played the prelude with poetry.
something suggestive of or likened to poetry:
the pure poetry of a beautiful view on a clear day.
Origin of poetry
1350-1400; Middle English poetrie < Medieval Latin poētria poetic art, derivative of poēta poet, but formation is unclear; probably not < Greek poiḗtria poetess
Related forms
poetryless, adjective
2. Poetry, verse agree in referring to the work of a poet. The difference between poetry and verse is usually the difference between substance and form. Poetry is lofty thought or impassioned feeling expressed in imaginative words: Elizabethan poetry. Verse is any expression in words which simply conforms to accepted metrical rules and structure: the differences between prose and verse.
2. prose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for poetry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is the development of Jewish poetry during its great period.

  • She liked romances and history and poetry; she would read anything.

    Sara Crewe Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • It is full of poetry, and of idyllic charm with all its stately solemnity.

    Luca Signorelli Maud Cruttwell
  • She had a lovely voice, was fond of music and poetry, and had a very 287superior mind.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Every evening he read aloud to us, usually 262 poetry or the Bible.

    Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline Jennie M. Drinkwater
British Dictionary definitions for poetry


literature in metrical form; verse
the art or craft of writing verse
poetic qualities, spirit, or feeling in anything
anything resembling poetry in rhythm, beauty, etc
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin poētria, from Latin poētapoet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for poetry

late 14c., "poetry; a poem; ancient literature; poetical works, fables, or tales," from Old French poetrie (13c.), and perhaps directly from Medieval Latin poetria (c.650), from Latin poeta (see poet). In classical Latin, poetria meant "poetess."

... I decided not to tell lies in verse. Not to feign any emotion that I did not feel; not to pretend to believe in optimism or pessimism, or unreversible progress; not to say anything because it was popular, or generally accepted, or fashionable in intellectual circles, unless I myself believed it; and not to believe easily. [Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), forward to "Selected Poems"]
Figurative use from 1660s. Old English had metergeweorc "verse," metercræft "art of versification." Modern English lacks a true verb form in this group of words, though poeticize (1804), poetize (1580s, from French poétiser), and poetrize (c.1600) have been tried. Poetry in motion (1826) perhaps is from poetry of motion (1813) "dance" (also poetry of the foot, 1660s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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