free verse

If you’ve ever studied classical poetry then you know how much poets used to obsess over syllable count and the stresses or beats in a line of verse, or poetry. Free verse is poetry that does away with the old rules.

There are many different forms of poetry with strict rules about rhythm, or meter. Free verse poetry began in the 19th century as a rejection of the rules in favor of other ways of organizing a poem. Much contemporary poetry is free verse. If you look at something like Shakespeare’s sonnets, on the other hand, you can see that it has strict rules: 14 lines with a couplet at the end, and no arguments!

Definitions of free verse
  1. noun
    unrhymed verse without a consistent metrical pattern
    synonyms: vers libre
    see moresee less
    type of:
    poem, verse form
    a composition written in metrical feet forming rhythmical lines
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month