View synonyms for poetry


[ poh-i-tree ]


  1. the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.
  2. literary work in metrical form; verse.

    Antonyms: prose

  3. prose with poetic qualities.
  4. poetic qualities however manifested:

    the poetry of simple acts and things.

  5. poetic spirit or feeling:

    The pianist played the prelude with poetry.

  6. something suggestive of or likened to poetry:

    the pure poetry of a beautiful view on a clear day.


/ ˈpəʊɪtrɪ /


  1. literature in metrical form; verse
  2. the art or craft of writing verse
  3. poetic qualities, spirit, or feeling in anything
  4. anything resembling poetry in rhythm, beauty, etc

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Other Words From

  • poet·ry·less adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of poetry1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English poetrie, from Medieval Latin poētria “poetic art,” derivative of poēta poet, but formation is unclear; probably not from Greek poiḗtria “poetess”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of poetry1

C14: from Medieval Latin poētria, from Latin poēta poet

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Synonym Study

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.

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Example Sentences

The poetry he sent to a man by the name of John Langalibalele Dube, who lived about 80 miles away.

From Ozy

As a youth, Quetelet dabbled in writing operas and poetry, but wisely switched to math, before becoming an astronomer and ultimately the most accomplished statistician of his day.

Doing something that’s enjoyable to you and in line with your values is a great way to cope with the holidays, he added, “whether it’s writing poetry, riding a bike, baking bread or volunteering.”

While you can send short stories, comic books or poetry, they must have science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural or alternative history elements.

Whether via Zoom or in person, poetry readings are really for the people who show up, says Burt.

He campaigned and governed in poetry, and we are all the richer for it.

The bar also claims that it hosted the first-ever poetry slam 28 years ago.

Its essays, criticism, reportage, and poetry are not “product.”

As a young man, he also wrote poetry, was a star singer at his school, and tried his hand at pamphleteering.

Laskey, who earned a degree in psychology, enjoys painting and poetry.

I thought this young man was going to read us some of his poetry; it's too tiresome of him to stop to tell us about his bull-dog.

Aldhem, an English divine, died; said to have been the first Englishman who cultivated poetry.

He is the principal writer of Italian jocose poetry, which has ever since retained the name of poesia Bernesca.

He is described by Calamy as having been a good scholar, and possessing a taste for poetry.

She had heard in books of girls writing poetry, romance, history—gaining fifties and hundreds.


Related Words

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More About Poetry

What is poetry?

Poetry is literature that is written in verse and emphasizes the rhythmic use of words to create imagery.  Works of poetry are called poems. A person who writes poetry is called a poet.

Poetry is a major form of literature. The biggest difference that sets poetry apart from other forms of writing is that poetry uses verse, which is concerned with meter, rather than prose, which does not. Poetry also may not use complete sentences or punctuation marks. Instead, poetry places an importance on using words and syllables that give rhythm to a poem.

There are many different forms of poetry, such as haiku, elegies, and sonnets. While some types of poems have rules on how they should be written, poets often break the rules if the poem will be better for it. You can find more information about these and other forms of poetry in our article, “12 Essential Types of Poetry.”

Why is poetry important?

The first records of the word poetry come from around 1350. It ultimately comes through the Medieval Latin poēta, meaning “poet.”

Poetry itself is much, much older than the English word. The oldest example of any literature that still survives today is “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” an epic poem that is over 4,000 years old.

Poetry, particularly rhyming poetry, is especially popular in children’s literature. We even use the term nursery rhyme to refer specifically to simple, entertaining poems written especially for very young children. Rhymes are easier to remember than other forms of writing, which explains why they are so often used in children’s poetry.

Did you know … ?

Since 1996, April has been celebrated as National Poetry Month. During the month, many people celebrate the importance of poetry and many poetry-related organizations endorse activities that encourage the writing of poetry during April. If you have wondered why you might be writing a lot of poetry in school during April, this is likely the reason.

What are real-life examples of poetry?

Here is an example of poetry written by an unknown poet:

“Itsy bitsy spider
Climbed up the waterspout;
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out;
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain;
And the itsy bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again.”

—Anonymous, Itsy Bitsy Spider

Poetry has always been a popular form of literature.


What other words are related to poetry?

Quiz yourself!

True or False?

Poetry is written in verse instead of prose.




poet laureatePoets are born, not made