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[poh-et-ik] /poʊˈɛt ɪk/
adjective, Also, poetical
possessing the qualities or charm of poetry:
poetic descriptions of nature.
of or relating to a poet or poets.
characteristic of or befitting a poet:
poetic feeling; poetic insight.
endowed with the faculty or feeling of a poet:
a poetic eulogist.
having or showing the sensibility of a poet:
a poetic lover.
of or relating to poetry:
poetic literature.
of the nature of or resembling poetry:
a poetic composition; poetic drama; poetic imagination.
celebrated in poetry, as a place.
providing a subject for poetry.
of or relating to literature in verse form.
Origin of poetic
1520-30; < Latin poēticus < Greek poiētikós. See poet, -ic
Related forms
poetically, adverb
antipoetical, adjective
antipoetically, adverb
nonpoetic, adjective
prepoetic, adjective
prepoetical, adjective
pseudopoetic, adjective
pseudopoetical, adjective
quasi-poetic, adjective
quasi-poetical, adjective
quasi-poetically, adverb
unpoetic, adjective
unpoetical, adjective
unpoetically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for poetic
  • He made more telling poetic connections from a deeper, wider range of information.
  • She is a magnificent writer, able to convey science with a poetic grace.
  • poetic text and stunning photographs immerse readers in the unique wonders of each sanctuary throughout this extraordinary tour.
  • Science only adds to our appreciation for poetic beauty and experiences of emotional depth.
  • As one admissions director told me at the time, they were prudential rather than poetic.
  • The party leaders did their best, with the occasional poetic flourish, to stir the emotions.
  • Some pieces were written by him and belong to the living tradition of the equally poetic and aggressive tango.
  • It's all a matter of poetic license, but then this is supposed to be science.
  • There was a quiet, poetic aura about the arrangements.
  • The result is a poetic narration that serves as the film's foundation.
British Dictionary definitions for poetic


of or relating to poetry
characteristic of poetry, as in being elevated, sublime, etc
characteristic of a poet
recounted in verse
Derived Forms
poetically, adverb
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 poetic

1520s, from poet + -ic, or else from or influenced by Middle French poetique (c.1400), from Latin poeticus, from Greek poietikos "pertaining to poetry," literally "creative, productive," from poietos "made," verbal adjective of poiein "to make" (see poet). Related: Poetics (1727). Poetic justice "ideal justice as portrayed in plays and stories" is from 1670s. Poetic license attested by 1733.

Earlier adjective was poetical (late 14c.); also obsolete poetly (mid-15c.). Related: Poetically (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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