Definition of poesy in English:



mass nounarchaic, literary
  • 1Poetry.

    ‘they were enamoured of poesy and the fine arts’
    • ‘Minnesota's first poet laureate, Margarette Ball Dickson, crowned herself queen bee of poesy in 1934.’
    • ‘I bet you have your own sheaf of pathetic poesy you want to bore us with.’
    • ‘We are enchanted by Bauby's poesy; we wonder at the courage of a man who can mentally survive his ordeal; and we experience frissons of there-but-for-the-grace-of-God horror down our spines.’
    • ‘Their miniatures purposefully blur the lines between poesy and prose - short lyric stories that are stylistically reminiscent of the verse-libre.’
    • ‘This little epigraph is nothing more than a physical reflection of what scooted across so-and-so's mind while sitting and reflecting on a difficult passage or poesy or prose.’
    poetry, versification, metrical composition, rhythmical composition, rhyme, rhyming, balladry, doggerel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The art or composition of poetry.
      ‘the genius of poesy’
      • ‘Littlewood's vision was not based on Shakespeare as the pinnacle of the English poesy, nor on the literary angry young men being championed by George Devine's Royal Court.’
      • ‘How can motherhood, being ‘bodily’ occupied by the everyday common chores, be compatible with lyric flights of poesy?’
      • ‘Barron Field wrote off Australia as ‘prose-dull’, and hoped that the wings of poesy - as he fatuously put it - would soon whirl him away to a more amenable clime. There was no question of Australians being permitted to create art of their own.’
      • ‘This anti-visual rhetoric of interiority is prevalent in much Romantic writing, from Keats's longing to escape on ‘the viewless wings of poesy,’ to Coleridge and Wordsworth's denunciation of the ‘despotism of the eye.’’
      • ‘John Keats described poesy as a ‘drainless shower of light‘.’
      • ‘Superstitious turtle Churchy LaFemme was the putative author of many of these gems, though the rest of the cast could be just as prone to poesy.’
      • ‘Some of his attempts at poesy almost end up counter-productive.’


Late Middle English: from Old French poesie, via Latin from Greek poēsis, variant of poiēsis ‘making, poetry’, from poiein ‘create’.