- The definition of a poem is a collection of words that express an emotion or idea, sometimes with a specific rhythm.
An example of a poem is the children’s rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb.
- an arrangement of words written or spoken: traditionally a rhythmical composition, sometimes rhymed, expressing experiences, ideas, or emotions in a style more concentrated, imaginative, and powerful than that of ordinary speech or prose: some poems are in meter, some in free verse
- anything suggesting a poem in its effect
Origin: MFr poeme from Classical Latin poema from Glassical Greek poiēma, anything made, poem from poiein, to make from Indo-European base an unverified form kwei-, to heap up, build, make from source Sanskrit cinōti, (he) arranges, Old Church Slavonic činiti, to arrange, form
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- 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.
- A composition in verse rather than in prose.
- A literary composition written with an intensity or beauty of language more characteristic of poetry than of prose.
- A creation, object, or experience having beauty suggestive of poetry.
Origin: French poème, from Old French, from Latin poēma, from Greek poiēma, from poiein, to create; see kwei-2 in Indo-European roots.