Definition of poetry in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpəʊɪtri/


[mass noun]
1Literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature: he felt a desire to investigate through poetry the subjects of pain and death she glanced at the papers and saw some lines of poetry he is chiefly famous for his love poetry
More example sentences
  • Drama, literature, and poetry all work out ideas of standards of behaviour and their consequences.
  • Because he did not have any formal education in art, his aesthetic ideas derived from poetry and literature.
  • I was brought up with the idea that poetry should rhyme; shape poems and the like were unheard of.
poems, verse, verses, versification, metrical composition, rhythmical composition, rhymes, rhyming, balladry;
Welsh penillion
literary poesy, Parnassus
1.1A quality of beauty and intensity of emotion regarded as characteristic of poems: poetry and fire are nicely balanced in the music
More example sentences
  • This has far more beauty and poetry and poignancy and soul than we were expecting from the property.
  • This is largely the failing of a vapid script that lacks both strong characterisations and poetry.
  • Sokurov's drama has a haunting quality to it and moments of poetry found in the simplest of shots.
1.2Something regarded as comparable to poetry in its beauty: the music department is housed in a building which is pure poetry
More example sentences
  • To some it's as mundane as plumbing, but to me the connection of A to B is pure poetry.


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin poetria, from Latin poeta 'poet'. In early use the word sometimes referred to creative literature in general.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: poet¦ry

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