Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A writer of insignificant, meretricious, or shoddy poetry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An unskilled poet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An inferior rhymer, or writer of verses; a dabbler in poetic art.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A petty poet: a feeble rimester, or a writer of indifferent verses.

Etymologies

New Latin poētaster : Latin poēta, poet; see poet + Latin -aster, pejorative suff.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowed from the New Latin poētaster. poet +‎ -aster (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Norwegians still speak of him as himmelstraevende sublim ( "sublime in his heavenly aspiration"); the Danes will have it that he was an hysterical poetaster.

    Henrik Ibsen

  • These two volumes belonged to clergyman and poetaster John Lea Simcox, who died in July 1840 at the age of 26; they were taken as a memorial by a friend, Laura Price, from Birmingham. eBay

    The Little Professor:

  • I'm also pleased to see that they didn't include a poem by that poetaster Barack Obama, given that Moi, too, am running for President.

    MY POEM IS BETTER THAN YOURS

  • Jovianus Pontanus makes an old fool rhyme, and turn poetaster to please his mistress.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Sir Lewis Morris was a voluminous poetaster with a common mind.

    Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions

  • A tweedy poetaster who spent his time spinning out parables and Japanese koans…or a bland Jesus who simply told people to look at lilies in the fields — such a Jesus would threaten no one, just as the university professors who create him the Jesus Seminar and their ilk threaten no one.

    Jesus and Mohammad, Version 2.0

  • Was it knowledge of this passage, Master, or ignorance of everything else, that made certain of the common steadfast dunces of our days speak of thee as if thou hadst been a starveling, neglected poetaster, jealous forsooth of Maitre Francoys Rabelais?

    Letters to Dead Authors

  • Macedonia, the great Cardinal Richelieu a jealous poetaster, and the great

    Letters to his son on The Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman

  • The whole race of Darling will be at my mercy — the pompous old Admiral, who refused to call on me till his idiot of a son persuaded him — that wretched poetaster, who reduced me to the ignominy of reading his own rubbish to him — and the haughty young woman that worships a savage who has treated me with insult.

    Springhaven

  • I haven't heard Platen referred to as a poetaster.

    languagehat.com: GHASELIG.

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • That's close to what I always think every time I see this word. Only I think "poet" rather than "Poe," despite the fact that there is no double T. Blecch.

    December 2, 2007

  • Since a poe might be a now-dead writer, a port of embarkation or a ghost in the Legand of Zelda games, I should imagine this might be an unpopular job...

    (Yes, I know ;-) — but it might have been.)

    December 1, 2007