Definition of poem in US English:



  • 1A piece of writing that partakes of the nature of both speech and song that is nearly always rhythmical, usually metaphorical, and often exhibits such formal elements as meter, rhyme, and stanzaic structure.

    • ‘We discover why the epic poem is considered one of the greatest works of the human spirit.’
    • ‘It was a grand affair, with troop parades, poems, songs, a feast and the unveiling of a trophy.’
    • ‘I had ideas for a poem last week while I was driving back from one of our other sites.’
    • ‘He said they also used old poems and ballads which were used as lyrics for the songs.’
    • ‘Without the old winters, a lot of our seasonal poems, rhymes and novels don't make sense.’
    • ‘Parents were treated to a morning of songs, poems and music by their Junior Classes.’
    • ‘After the elegies and hymns and poems, the retired minister rose to speak on tottering legs but with a voice like a vice.’
    • ‘I, too, hung up the receiver and went into my room to check some books for ideas of fall poems.’
    • ‘Like Paradise Lost this piece is both a moral and political treatise and an epic poem.’
    • ‘Modern readers continue to debate whether the poems express platonic friendship or sexual love.’
    • ‘When he's not writing protest poems about saving rocks, Albert ponders the meaning of life.’
    • ‘Here again the listless rhythms gather images and ideas into poems of real power.’
    • ‘The group spent the morning working on a descriptive piece of writing and poems about people they knew.’
    • ‘Her class had been preparing for his visit by writing autumn poems of their own and reading some of his books.’
    • ‘After you've completed the evaluation, you'll read some of my poems to get an idea of how to go about it.’
    • ‘Extant works include ecclesiastical poems, rhythmical verse, and a number of letters.’
    • ‘He wasn't going to be able to write great passionate love poems or poems of travel.’
    • ‘So many of her poems express some combination of confusion and lament about the decline.’
    • ‘The friends wrote the original stories, poems and songs that are used on the CDs and provided the voices.’
    • ‘No, Kylie has written a poem especially for the piece which has been incorporated into the score!’
    verse, song, rhyme, piece of poetry, verse composition, metrical composition
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Something that arouses strong emotions because of its beauty.
      ‘you make a poem of riding downhill on your bike’


Late 15th century: from French poème or Latin poema, from Greek poēma, early variant of poiēma ‘fiction, poem’, from poiein ‘create’.