adjective Also po·et·i·cal.

  1. possessing the qualities or charm of poetry: poetic descriptions of nature.
  2. of or relating to a poet or poets.
  3. characteristic of or befitting a poet: poetic feeling; poetic insight.
  4. endowed with the faculty or feeling of a poet: a poetic eulogist.
  5. having or showing the sensibility of a poet: a poetic lover.
  6. of or relating to poetry: poetic literature.
  7. of the nature of or resembling poetry: a poetic composition; poetic drama; poetic imagination.
  8. celebrated in poetry, as a place.
  9. providing a subject for poetry.
  10. of or relating to literature in verse form.


  1. poetics.


  1. of or relating to poetry
  2. characteristic of poetry, as in being elevated, sublime, etc
  3. characteristic of a poet
  4. recounted in verse

adj.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.).

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