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[poh-uh m] /ˈpoʊ əm/
a composition in verse, especially one that is characterized by a highly developed artistic form and by the use of heightened language and rhythm to express an intensely imaginative interpretation of the subject.
composition that, though not in verse, is characterized by great beauty of language or expression:
a prose poem from the Scriptures; a symphonic poem.
something having qualities that are suggestive of or likened to those of poetry:
Marcel, that chicken cacciatore was an absolute poem.
Origin of poem
1540-50; < Latin poēma < Greek poíēma poem, something made, equivalent to poiē-, variant stem of poieîn to make + -ma suffix denoting result Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for poem
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is no halting-place in the poem, as it often is in human thought.

  • The poem is in four cantos, the first of which is the best, and the most characteristic of the author.

    Biographical Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • But the poem was flowing on interminably; I began to mistrust my memory.

    Myths of the Rhine X. B. Saintine
  • According to Rogers, who claims to have suggested the poem, it was to have been inscribed to him.

  • He had written a poem and had sent it to The Portland Gazette.

    Historic Shrines of America John T. (John Thomson) Faris
British Dictionary definitions for poem


a composition in verse, usually characterized by concentrated and heightened language in which words are chosen for their sound and suggestive power as well as for their sense, and using such techniques as metre, rhyme, and alliteration
a literary composition that is not in verse but exhibits the intensity of imagination and language common to it: a prose poem
anything resembling a poem in beauty, effect, etc
Word Origin
C16: from Latin poēma, from Greek, variant of poiēma something composed, created, from poiein to make
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for poem

1540s (replacing poesy in this sense), from Middle French poème (14c.), from Latin poema "composition in verse, poetry," from Greek poema "fiction, poetical work," literally "thing made or created," early variant of poiema, from poein, poiein, "to make or compose" (see poet). Spelling pome, representing an ignorant pronunciation, is attested from 1856.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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