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

  • adj. Poetic.
  • adj. Fancifully depicted or embellished; idealized.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of or pertaining to poetry, suitable for poetry, or for writing poetry.
  • adj. expressed in metrical form; exhibiting the imaginative or the rhythmical quality of poetry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as poetic.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characteristic of or befitting poetry
  • adj. of or relating to poetry


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But in striking contrast to Shakespere and to others, Middleton has no kind of poetical morality in the sense in which the term poetical justice is better known.

    A History of Elizabethan Literature

  • But the term poetical does not appear very applicable to the generality of Dutch painting; and a little reflection will show us, that if the Italians represent only the invariable, they cannot be properly compared even to historians.

    Selections From the Works of John Ruskin

  • "Never mind; we can make believe that the queen has sent them off, so as not to scare Pocahontas; that's what they call poetical license," said Polly.

    Half a Dozen Girls

  • But I can't help seeing there's a kind of -- what they call poetical justice in it, the blow coming from him.

    The Second Latchkey

  • "No! take it easy," said Robinson; "he is a poet; this is what they call poetical license."

    It Is Never Too Late to Mend

  • We are indeed so much used to what they call poetical justice, that we are disappointed in the catastrophe of a fable, if everybody concerned in it be not disposed of according to the sentence of that judge which we have set up in our own breasts.

    Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph

  • Poets have formed what they call a poetical system of things, which though it be believed neither by themselves nor readers, is commonly esteemed a sufficient foundation for any fiction.

    A Treatise of Human Nature

  • Poets have form'd what they call a poetical system of things, which tho 'it be believ'd neither by themselves nor readers, is commonly esteem'd a sufficient foundation for any fiction.

    A treatise of human nature

  • Among the moderns, indeed, there has arisen a chimerical method of disposing the fortune of the persons represented, according to what they call poetical justice; and letting none be unhappy but those who deserve it.

    Isaac Bickerstaff, physician and astrologer

  • Awe is a Sort of Poetical Aftronomy with regard to the Stare; or, there is what we call the poetical Rifing and Setting of the Stars, which was much taken Notice of by the ancient Poets, Hiftorians, and Hufbandmen,

    The Young Gentleman and Lady's Philosophy: In a Continued Survey of the Works of Nature and Art ...


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