View synonyms for verse



[ vurs ]


  1. (not in technical use) a stanza.
  2. a succession of metrical feet written, printed, or orally composed as one line; one of the lines of a poem.
  3. a particular type of metrical line:

    a hexameter verse.

  4. a poem, or piece of poetry.
  5. metrical composition; poetry, especially as involving metrical form.
  6. metrical writing distinguished from poetry because of its inferior quality:

    a writer of verse, not poetry.

  7. a particular type of metrical composition:

    elegiac verse.

  8. the collective poetry of an author, period, nation, etc.:

    Miltonian verse;

    American verse.

  9. one of the short conventional divisions of a chapter of the Bible.
  10. Music.
    1. that part of a song following the introduction and preceding the chorus.
    2. a part of a song designed to be sung by a solo voice.
  11. Rare. a line of prose, especially a sentence, or part of a sentence, written as one line.
  12. Rare. a subdivision in any literary work.


  1. of, relating to, or written in verse:

    a verse play.

verb (used without object)

, versed, vers·ing.

verb (used with object)

, versed, vers·ing.
  1. to express in verse.



[ vurs ]

verb (used with object)

  1. Slang. to play against; be the opponent of, as in a game or match:

    Want to verse me in this new RPG?

    We lost against the Wildcats when we versed them a couple of days ago.


  1. a combining form extracted from universe, occurring as the final element in compounds with the sense “in the sphere or realm of”: Chaos is erupting in the Twitterverse right now. We try to stick with using the Linuxverse on our computers. A new publisher is big news in the writerverse.
  2. a combining form extracted from universe, used in forming names for a fictional world associated with a particular media franchise: the BTTF-verse of Back to the Future;

    the Whoniverse of Doctor Who;

    the BTTF-verse of Back to the Future;

    the Vorkosiverse of the Vorkosigan Saga.


/ vɜːs /


  1. (not in technical usage) a stanza or other short subdivision of a poem
  2. poetry as distinct from prose
    1. a series of metrical feet forming a rhythmic unit of one line
    2. ( as modifier )

      verse line

  3. a specified type of metre or metrical structure

    iambic verse

  4. one of the series of short subsections into which most of the writings in the Bible are divided
  5. a metrical composition; poem


  1. a rare word for versify


  1. A kind of language made intentionally different from ordinary speech or prose. It usually employs devices such as meter and rhyme , though not always. Free verse , for example, has neither meter nor rhyme. Verse is usually considered a broader category than poetry, with the latter being reserved to mean verse that is serious and genuinely artistic.

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Other Words From

  • un·der·verse noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of verse1

First recorded before 900; Middle English vers(e), fers “line of poetry, section of a psalm,” from Old French vers, Anglo-French verse, veers, and Old English fers, færs, fyrs, from Latin versus “a row, line (of poetry),” literally, “a turning,” equivalent to vert(ere), “to turn” (past participle versus; akin to -ward, worth 2

Origin of verse2

An Americanism dating back to 1980–85; shortening of versus ( def )

Origin of verse3

First recorded in 1980–85

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Word History and Origins

Origin of verse1

Old English vers, from Latin versus a furrow, literally: a turning (of the plough), from vertere to turn

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Idioms and Phrases

see chapter and verse .

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Synonym Study

Verse, stanza, strophe, stave are terms for a metrical grouping in poetic composition. Verse is often mistakenly used for stanza, but is properly only a single metrical line. A stanza is a succession of lines (verses) commonly bound together by a rhyme scheme, and usually forming one of a series of similar groups that constitute a poem: The four-line stanza is the one most frequently used in English. Strophe (originally the section of a Greek choral ode sung while the chorus was moving from right to left) is in English poetry practically equivalent to “section”; a strophe may be unrhymed or without strict form, but may be a stanza: Strophes are divisions of odes. Stave is a word (now seldom used) that means a stanza set to music or intended to be sung: a stave of a hymn; a stave of a drinking song. See poetry.

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Example Sentences

Jason and Lizzie Kling, 34, learned to read and speak Spanish with their mom by reading verses of Jesus’s teachings in the Spanish version of the Bible.

That he invited everyone—even those of us at home, which was most of us—to sing the final verse was yet another kind of reaching out.

From Time

Keep distribution opportunities top of mindIt’s easier than most publishers think for posted articles to disappear into the content-verse, generating zero sales quickly.

From Digiday

A favorite biblical verse from the Book of Colossians commands, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

From Fortune

That would incentivize bringing in nurses and doctors who are versed in preventive care, and could keep down resident fees, she said.

It needs to be said: bigotry in the name of religion is still bigotry; child abuse wrapped in a Bible verse is still child abuse.

No more allowing people to justify their bigotry by spouting a cherry-picked Bible verse.

I know the verse because Mrs. Bertalan used to have us do it in ninth-grade choir.

Shortly thereafter, T.I. lent his first post-incarceration verse to a remix of “Magic.”

I have seen the ugliest thoughts expressed, sometimes in verse, while using public restrooms.

As the next verse is the last you needn't trouble yourself to make any further observations.

Did he at all intrench upon your Sovereignty in Verse, because he had now and then written a Comedy that succeeded?

I am of opinion too, that the Indecency of the next Verse, you spill upon me, would admit of an equal Correction.

Only he had carved on the Girl's tombstone the last verse of the Song of the Girl, which stands at the head of this story.

Carmina de clo possunt de duecere lunam.Pale Phbe, drawn by verse, from heaven descends.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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