Definition of verse in US English:

verse

noun

  • 1Writing arranged with a metrical rhythm, typically having a rhyme.

    ‘a lament in verse’
    as modifier ‘verse drama’
    • ‘Johnson uses all of these devices in writing his Latin verse imitations.’
    • ‘Should rhymed verse be translated in English rhyme?’
    • ‘The only way to write poetry is to begin by writing verse.’
    • ‘Her stories, told in nonsense verse, are fast-paced with a rhythm that carries through its pages.’
    • ‘Among the pioneers of free verse, D. H. Lawrence stands out as one who, though gifted in metrical verse, is happier without meter.’
    • ‘They began writing in iambic pentameter, or in some other " respectable " verse form.’
    • ‘All Gunn's early verse rhymed - he was the most Appollonian of the 50s poets.’
    • ‘She wrote well and often corresponded with friends in doggerel verse.’
    • ‘For a comprehensive list of German hexameter verse, see Bennett 180-93.’
    • ‘The second verse is composed in your head between the second and third stations of your trip.’
    • ‘The language is mostly the quaint island patois - not the stuff of verse drama.’
    • ‘But I don't want to suggest that Martin writes merely a serviceable blank verse.’
    • ‘I remember reading the following verse in one of my workbooks at primary school and having to memorize it.’
    • ‘Haiku originated as a simple verse form used to entertain the Japanese upper class.’
    • ‘Both he and Frost advocated the use of natural diction, and of colloquial speech rhythms in metrical verse.’
    • ‘The upsurge of early printed verse translations makes public a large and rapidly distributed body of foreign-born poetry.’
    • ‘Johnson never claims, when writing Latin verse, to be writing formal verse imitation.’
    • ‘Robert Frost once classed poetry that way, free verse against formal verse.’
    • ‘Think about taking away the net and writing some blank verse with some metaphors in it.’
    • ‘The caricature was accompanied by doggerel verse which used Mr Tolley's name and extolled the virtues of the chocolate.’
    poetry, versification, metrical composition, rhythmical composition, rhyme, rhyming, balladry, doggerel
    poem, piece of poetry, lyric, sonnet, ode, limerick, rhyme, composition, metrical composition, piece of doggerel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A group of lines that form a unit in a poem or song; a stanza.
      ‘the second verse’
      • ‘Painted all over the parchment that had been plastered to the walls, were verses of poetry.’
      • ‘The verses of this hymn became the favored marching song of the Union forces during the Civil War.’
      • ‘Every language had its stock of lullabies, nursery rhymes, nonsense verses, fairytales and simple stories of light and delight.’
      • ‘He was a copious writer, dashing off verses, very often on the wet surfaces of pub tables.’
      • ‘Sarah listens to her, and then suddenly the two of them sing a verse of the song.’
      • ‘Ritson also published several popular collections and anthologies of songs, children's verses, fairy stories, etc.’
      • ‘He sang 34 verses of a song that had been specially written for him.’
      • ‘We sang the first three verses, and then came my part.’
      • ‘He also wrote what I think is one of the most romantic verses of poetry ever.’
      • ‘A metro poem has as many verses as your trip has stations, minus one.’
      • ‘The tale became the subject of songs, pamphlets, verses sold in trains and on the streets, and popular fiction.’
      • ‘Like most pop music, this song transitions from a relatively calm verse to a more raucous chorus.’
      • ‘They both process thrilling ur-poetry: entangled, limitlessly complicated prose poems and verses.’
      • ‘They laugh and joke and make up verses to songs and poems and chants about women and body parts.’
      • ‘Hurston doesn't quote the third verse of the song, which gives the point of the passage away plainly.’
      • ‘The way his poetry is structured, the verses and the stanzas have much in common with visual arts.’
      • ‘Today's poem is a verse from Byron's Childe Harold, speaking of pathless places.’
      • ‘After crooning a couple of verses of that particular song, Charlie heard a loud thump resonate inside the room.’
      • ‘And they launched into verses upon verses of song.’
      • ‘Yasin was extremely nice, and answered my questions, oddly enough, with verses of poetry.’
      stanza, strophe, stave, canto
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Each of the short numbered divisions of a chapter in the Bible or other scripture.
      • ‘Also among other tapes one was found in Arabic containing Koranic verses dedicated to teaching.’
      • ‘It is the shortest verse in the whole Bible: those two words in the English language - Jesus wept.’
      • ‘Listen quietly in your heart and see if an encouraging phrase, or a Scripture verse, or a specific action starts to impress itself upon you.’
      • ‘Inside the box, there is some candy and a heart-shaped eraser with a Bible verse attached to it.’
      • ‘An evangelical justification for the physical discipline of children goes deeper than a few isolated verses in the Bible, however.’
      • ‘My eyes scanned the page until I found the third verse of the first chapter.’
      • ‘It recounts, in twelve expansive books, a story line that occupies only a few verses of the book of Genesis.’
      • ‘Although the verse refers to a judge, the rationale applies to anyone in a position of public trust.’
      • ‘I'll take a scripture verse from the Bible and I'll share it with a guy.’
      • ‘Some verses in the Bible imply that snow is a negative force, while others indicate that snow is a positive one.’
      • ‘Rachel enjoys memorizing Bible verses and reciting them each week and playing games with her friends.’
      • ‘Koranic verses were recited, with the phrases passing from group to group.’
      • ‘He opened the Bible to John and read the first two verses.’
      • ‘In a short work like this we cannot examine all the verses in the Bible which refer to the devil and Satan.’
      • ‘These moments draw on and return to a practice entrenched in evangelicalism: the use of Bible memory verses.’
      • ‘A later search uncovered detonators and a tape containing Koranic verses.’
      • ‘Is there a single verse of the Scriptures that teaches us Christ came to bring us to Heaven where we no longer can sin?’
      • ‘Some 21 calligraphic panels of Quranic verses are also on show.’
      • ‘We choose to treat some verses of scripture as having more authority than others.’
      • ‘We have many different such divisions ranging from what would be long verses to chapter style divisions.’
    3. 1.3 A versicle.
      • ‘A liturgical chant sung as the refrain to the verses of a psalm.’
      • ‘He was quoting, and more specifically he was quoting the first verse of the twenty-second psalm.’
      • ‘Both paintings illustrate the power of God's creative energy so forcefully evoked in the opening verses of Psalm 8.’
      • ‘The children memorize verses and are asked questions about doctrine.’
    4. 1.4archaic A line of poetry.
      • ‘The sisters smiled at the poetry and added a verse onto it.’
      • ‘Semantic Poetry doesn't arrange verses into bunches of flowers.’
    5. 1.5 A passage in an anthem for a soloist or a small group of voices.
      • ‘I quoted from the second verse of our national anthem.’
      • ‘Oh, and there's a huge, meat-grinder chorus between the minstrel verses.’

verb

[no object]archaic
  • Speak in or compose verse; versify.

    ‘he began to verse extemporaneously in her ear’
    with object ‘thou sat all day, playing on pipes and versing love’
    • ‘He maintains, ‘it is not rhyming and versing that maketh a poet.’’

Origin

Old English fers, from Latin versus ‘a turn of the plow, a furrow, a line of writing’, from vertere ‘to turn’; reinforced in Middle English by Old French vers, from Latin versus.

Pronunciation

verse

/vərs//vərs/