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  1. a person who composes poetry.
  2. a person who has the gift of poetic thought, imagination, and creation, together with eloquence of expression.
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Origin of poet

1250–1300; Middle English poete < Latin poēta < Greek poiētḗs poet, literally, maker, equivalent to poiē-, variant stem of poieîn to make + -tēs agent noun suffix
Related formspo·et·less, adjectivepo·et·like, adjectivenon·po·et, noun


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  1. poetic.
  2. poetical.
  3. poetry.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for poet

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • A subject was offered him, in which no other poet would have found a theme for the Muse.

    Biographical Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • I doubt if even the poet ever works just what he means on the mind of his fellow.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • A parting word may, however, be devoted to the poet himself.

  • But ambition is foreign to the Shakespeare-Hamlet nature, so the poet does not employ it.

  • The next sonnet puts the poet's feeling as strongly as possible.

British Dictionary definitions for poet


sometimes when feminine poetess

  1. a person who writes poetry
  2. a person with great imagination and creativity
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Word Origin

C13: from Latin poēta, from Greek poiētēs maker, poet, 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 poet


early 14c., "a poet, a singer" (c.1200 as a surname), from Old French poete (12c., Modern French poète) and directly from Latin poeta "a poet," from Greek poetes "maker, author, poet," variant of poietes, from poein, poiein "to make, create, compose," from PIE *kwoiwo- "making," from root *kwei- "to pile up, build, make" (cf. Sanskrit cinoti "heaping up, piling up," Old Church Slavonic činu "act, deed, order").

Replaced Old English scop (which survives in scoff). Used in 14c., as in classical languages, for all sorts of writers or composers of works of literature. Poète maudit, "a poet insufficiently appreciated by his contemporaries," literally "cursed poet," attested by 1930, from French (1884, Verlaine). For poet laureate see laureate.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper