Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A verbal composition designed to convey experiences, ideas, or emotions in a vivid and imaginative way, characterized by the use of language chosen for its sound and suggestive power and by the use of literary techniques such as meter, metaphor, and rhyme.
  • n. A composition in verse rather than in prose.
  • n. A literary composition written with an intensity or beauty of language more characteristic of poetry than of prose.
  • n. A creation, object, or experience having beauty suggestive of poetry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A literary piece written in verse.
  • n. A piece of writing in the tradition of poetry, an instance of poetry.
  • n. A piece of poetic writing, that is with an intensity or depth of expression or inspiration greater than is usual in prose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A metrical composition; a composition in verse written in certain measures, whether in blank verse or in rhyme, and characterized by imagination and poetic diction; -- contradistinguished from prose.
  • n. A composition, not in verse, of which the language is highly imaginative or impassioned

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A written composition in metrical form; a composition characterized by its arrangement in verses or measures, whether in blank verse or in rime: as, a lyric poem; a pastoral poem.
  • n. A written composition which, though not in verse, is characterized by imaginative and poetic beauty in either the thought or the language: as, a prose poem.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a composition written in metrical feet forming rhythmical lines

Etymologies

French poème, from Old French, from Latin poēma, from Greek poiēma, from poiein, to create.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin poēma, from Ancient Greek ποίημα (poiēma), from ποιέω (poiēo, "I make"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • lonely starlet
    blue-winged
    standeth
    like beats
    pentatomic

    November 8, 2011

  • From the "recently viewed" column on Wordnik, a series of consecutive entries:

    crackwhore
    suddenly and swiftly driven heavenwards
    perceptually
    bridling up at the mysterious air
    chassé-croisé
    the lips of the wise

    November 8, 2011

  • See this map for American pronunciation.

    April 10, 2008

  • Me too, muamor! Here's to creepy poetry!

    February 28, 2008

  • jackass comrade ornate sofa
    deck-a-bitch wah

    caterpillar charlatan

    vag disgrace
    truth impulsive

    dubious

    prudent

    scapegoat

    _________________
    Sometimes the recent words list turns into a creepy poem in me head.

    February 28, 2008

  • A great poem is for ages and ages in common, and for all degrees and complexions, and all departments and sects, and for a woman as much as a man, and a man as much as a woman. A great poem is no finish to a man or woman, but rather a beginning. Whitman, Preface 1855

    December 9, 2006