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1. (not in technical usage) a stanza or other short subdivision of a poem
2. poetry as distinct from prose
a. a series of metrical feet forming a rhythmic unit of one line
b. (as modifier): verse line
4. a specified type of metre or metrical structure
5. one of the series of short subsections into which most of the writings in the Bible are divided
6. a metrical composition; poem
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



artistic speech that is phonically divided into relatively short sections called verses, which are mutually related and commensurable. Division into verses is generally marked by the text’s appearance (printing in separate lines) and is often accompanied by rhyme and other phonic features. Meter, or the alternation within a line of strong and weak syllables, is the means used to emphasize the interrelationship and commensurability of verses, but meter in verse may be absent, as in tonic verse and free verse.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"He sang the creation of the world, the origin of man, and all the history of Genesis; and made many verses on the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and their entering into the land of promise, with many other histories from holy writ."
After this he composed the "Odyssey" in twelve thousand verses, having previously written the "Iliad" in fifteen thousand five hundred verses (5).
Next he went to Argos and there recited these verses from the "Iliad":
(2) The verses of Hesiod are called doubtful in meaning because they are, if taken alone, either incomplete or absurd.
"'Two Latin verses!' and, for 'two Latin verses,' the miserable being has been in prison for ten years!"
Whether true poetry or mere intellectual cleverness is the predominant element may reasonably be questioned; but on many readers Donne's verse exercises a unique attraction.
In vigorous reaction against the sometimes nerveless melody of most contemporary poets Donne often makes his verse as ruggedly condensed (often as obscure) and as harsh as possible.
In verse two Mark quotes Isaiah the prophet (actually half the quote is from Malachi, but that is still another issue), and verse four abruptly begins to speak of John the Baptizer.
The audience's aural perception of the verse boundary has another aspect.
Somewhere, I and other students were taught and learned this verse as well as the traditional first verse -- I suspect it was in grammar or high school in Chicago in the 1950s.
This paper will consider Deuteronomy 9:7, a verse whose genre and audience are unclear, and have been under debate for centuries.