adjective Also po·et·i·cal.


Origin of poetic

1520–30; < Latin poēticus < Greek poiētikós. See poet, -ic
Related formspo·et·i·cal·ly, adverban·ti·po·et·i·cal, adjectivean·ti·po·et·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·po·et·ic, adjectivepre·po·et·ic, adjectivepre·po·et·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·po·et·ic, adjectivepseu·do·po·et·i·cal, adjectivequa·si-po·et·ic, adjectivequa·si-po·et·i·cal, adjectivequa·si-po·et·i·cal·ly, adverbun·po·et·ic, adjectiveun·po·et·i·cal, adjectiveun·po·et·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for poetical

Contemporary Examples of poetical

Historical Examples of poetical

  • His justice is all poetical justice, exactly what justice should be.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • When I say for ever, I mean (though I am not poetical) through all our time.'

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • But this, like many other literary associations, is a piece of poetical injustice.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • Your experience of the everyday language of the common people may be that it is not poetical.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • That glow of enthusiasm for labor was chiefly moral, but it was poetical as well.

British Dictionary definitions for poetical




of or relating to poetry
characteristic of poetry, as in being elevated, sublime, etc
characteristic of a poet
recounted in verse
Derived Formspoetically, adverb
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 poetical



1520s, from poet + -ic, or else from or influenced by Middle French poetique (c.1400), from Latin poeticus, from Greek poietikos "pertaining to poetry," literally "creative, productive," from poietos "made," verbal adjective of poiein "to make" (see poet). Related: Poetics (1727). Poetic justice "ideal justice as portrayed in plays and stories" is from 1670s. Poetic license attested by 1733.

Earlier adjective was poetical (late 14c.); also obsolete poetly (mid-15c.). Related: Poetically (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper