Definition of poetic license in English:

poetic license


  • The freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect.

    ‘he used a little poetic license to embroider a good tale’
    • ‘These included a dedication to narrative, an eschewing of poetic licence, a sense of clarity and a moral purpose.’
    • ‘True poetry, however, is never entirely severed from the speaking voice; a certain latitude, however, sometimes called poetic licence, allows the poet to take liberties with language.’
    • ‘I'm tempted to reply, but given the probability that his profile will have a degree of poetic licence about it, and the fact that any further correspondence will require me to get out my credit card, I think I'll pass him on to Lou instead.’
    • ‘We enter the realm of metaphor, allegory and poetic licence.’
    • ‘No one is going to be able to get that document so in the end we're having to deal with some indisputable facts and some poetic licence.’
    • ‘Everything I tell you really did happen, give or take a few liberties of poetic licence.’
    • ‘Let us not accept the existing line as poetic licence for this is a privilege reserved for distinguished writers of English language and literature.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, Smith would have us disregard all this talk of representation and exercising other people's prerogatives as nostalgia, or perhaps poetic licence.’
    • ‘Then again, all poetic licence aside, historians estimate that there were 30,000 French against 6,000 English soldiers that day in 1415, and the English won.’
    • ‘Some poetic licence was used, as caponata is a Sicilian dish usually served cold, though this interpretation went down well.’
    • ‘There's plenty of room for poetic licence as a willing audience puts the panel through its paces.’
    • ‘He created the prints using imagination rather than live models so they exhibit more poetic licence than anatomical accuracy, as can be seen by the image of a six-legged spider with a ladder.’
    • ‘As this female hybrid was transformed into a pseudo-classical image of erotic fantasy, her sinful connotations were sublimated under the veil of poetic licence.’
    • ‘But then, there is something called poetic licence.’
    • ‘There is a circular logic in the premise here and the anthropomorphy that renders objects sentient still niggles, despite allowance for poetic licence.’
    • ‘He admits it is semi-autobiographical, mixing his childhood memory with family history, and a little bit of poetic licence.’
    • ‘It was poetic licence on my part - he responds to many of my posts pointing out how wrong I am, and I made a leap by writing that ‘the gist’ of his comments is that I'm stupid.’
    • ‘He agreed that he may well have used poetic licence, and it would be surprising if he had not done so.’
    • ‘The cat was actually in a cat box on pram wheels but if you can't use poetic licence when you are a poet then when can you?’
    • ‘He has always been the player to drive you mad, dropped by England at least ten times - no poetic licence here, just the literal truth.’