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[poh-it] /ˈpoʊ ɪt/
a person who composes poetry.
a person who has the gift of poetic thought, imagination, and creation, together with eloquence of expression.
Origin of poet
1250-1300; Middle English poete < Latin poēta < Greek poiētḗs poet, literally, maker, equivalent to poiē-, variant stem of poieîn to make + -tēs agent noun suffix
Related forms
poetless, adjective
poetlike, adjective
nonpoet, noun
1. versifier, bard.


3. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for poet
  • Clues in the text hint that the poet knew his astronomy.
  • Or about what great poet had what malady and for how long.
  • Operating within the broader area of fiction, he was to retain the cadenced precision of the poet.
  • The poet's chronic heart disease is a recurrent concern.
  • Any dreamy, pen-chewing poet would feel at home there, musing on mortality.
  • The poet's general condition began deteriorating two days ago.
  • IT is a question of some nicety to decide how much must be read of any particular poet.
  • And it is not a question merely of the size of the poet.
  • But it is not until the professed poet and dramatist come to the help of the amateur that any great art results.
  • What each of us is seeking the poet has already found.
British Dictionary definitions for poet


a person who writes poetry
a person with great imagination and creativity
Word Origin
C13: from Latin poēta, from Greek poiētēs maker, poet, 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 poet

early 14c., "a poet, a singer" (c.1200 as a surname), from Old French poete (12c., Modern French poète) and directly from Latin poeta "a poet," from Greek poetes "maker, author, poet," variant of poietes, from poein, poiein "to make, create, compose," from PIE *kwoiwo- "making," from root *kwei- "to pile up, build, make" (cf. Sanskrit cinoti "heaping up, piling up," Old Church Slavonic činu "act, deed, order").

Replaced Old English scop (which survives in scoff). Used in 14c., as in classical languages, for all sorts of writers or composers of works of literature. Poète maudit, "a poet insufficiently appreciated by his contemporaries," literally "cursed poet," attested by 1930, from French (1884, Verlaine). For poet laureate see laureate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for poet


  1. poetic
  2. poetical
  3. poetry
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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