a woman who writes poetry.

Origin of poetess

First recorded in 1520–30; poet + -ess

Usage note

See -ess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for poetess

Contemporary Examples of poetess

Historical Examples of poetess

  • 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)

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