Hypertext Webster Gateway: "poem"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Secular \Sec"u*lar\, a. [OE. secular, seculer. L. saecularis,
fr. saeculum a race, generation, age, the times, the world;
perhaps akin to E. soul: cf. F. s['e]culier.]
1. Coming or observed once in an age or a century.

The secular year was kept but once a century.

2. Pertaining to an age, or the progress of ages, or to a
long period of time; accomplished in a long progress of
time; as, secular inequality; the secular refrigeration of
the globe.

3. Of or pertaining to this present world, or to things not
spiritual or holy; relating to temporal as distinguished
from eternal interests; not immediately or primarily
respecting the soul, but the body; worldly.

New foes arise, Threatening to bind our souls with
secular chains. --Milton.

4. (Eccl.) Not regular; not bound by monastic vows or rules;
not confined to a monastery, or subject to the rules of a
religious community; as, a secular priest.

He tried to enforce a stricter discipline and
greater regard for morals, both in the religious
orders and the secular clergy. --Prescett.

5. Belonging to the laity; lay; not clerical.

I speak of folk in secular estate. --Chaucer.

{Secular equation} (Astron.), the algebraic or numerical
expression of the magnitude of the inequalities in a
planet's motion that remain after the inequalities of a
short period have been allowed for.

{Secular games} (Rom. Antiq.), games celebrated, at long but
irregular intervals, for three days and nights, with
sacrifices, theatrical shows, combats, sports, and the

{Secular music}, any music or songs not adapted to sacred

{Secular hymn} or {poem}, a hymn or poem composed for the
secular games, or sung or rehearsed at those games.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Poem \Po"em\, n. [L. po["e]ma, Gr. ?, fr. ? to make, to compose,
to write, especially in verse: cf. F. po["e]me.]
1. A metrical composition; a composition in verse written in
certain measures, whether in blank verse or in rhyme, and
characterized by imagination and poetic diction; --
contradistinguished from prose; as, the poems of Homer or
of Milton.

2. A composition, not in verse, of which the language is
highly imaginative or impassioned; as, a prose poem; the
poems of Ossian.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n : a composition written in metrical feet forming rhythmical
lines [syn: {verse form}]

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