[poh-uh-see, -zee]

noun, plural po·e·sies.

the work or the art of poetic composition.
  1. poetry in general.
  2. verse or poetry in metrical form.
  1. a poem or verse used as a motto.Compare posy(def 2).
  2. a poem.

Origin of poesy

1300–50; Middle English poesie < Middle French < Latin poēsis < Greek poíēsis poetic art, poetry, literally, a making, equivalent to poiē-, variant stem of poieîn to make + -sis -sis
Can be confusedpoesy posey posy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for poesy

Historical Examples of poesy

  • At least I can do none of these things, and poesy wearies me to read, much more to write.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • How difficult then to ascertain the truth respecting our poesy and music!

  • And he is wise too; for he is a poet, and the author of poesy in others.

  • Neither of the partners in poesy had the least idea of anything more than being just that.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • The daisy (Saxon Daeges ege) has often been cited as fragrant with poesy.

British Dictionary definitions for poesy


noun plural -sies

an archaic word for poetry
poetic the art of writing poetry
archaic, or poetic a poem or verse, esp one used as a motto

Word Origin for poesy

C14: via Old French from Latin poēsis, from Greek, from poiēsis poetic art, creativity, from poiein to make
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

Word Origin and History for poesy

late 14c., "poetry; poetic language and ideas; literature; a poem, a passage of poetry," from Old French poesie (mid-14c.), from Vulgar Latin poesia (source of Provençal, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian poesia), from Latin poesis "poetry, a poem," from Greek poesis "composition, poetry," literally "a making, fabrication," variant of poiesis, from poein, poiein "to make or compose" (see poet). Meaning "the art of poetry" is late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper