This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1772.
- May 7 – The Stadsschouwburg theatre in Amsterdam is destroyed by fire.
- June – At Marseilles, the Marquis de Sade embarks on an orgy, as a result of which he is convicted in absentia of sodomy and poisoning and receives a death sentence; he escapes.
- September 12 – The Göttinger Hainbund of German poets is formed at a midnight ritual in an oaken grove.
- November 10 – The wife of poet Pedro Correia Garção obtains an order for his release from prison, the very day of his death.
- November 28 – Publication of the Bible in the Manx language is completed.
- Thomas Paine produces his first published work, a political article entitled Case of the Officers of Excise.
- Gottfried August Bürger obtains a magistracy and is reconciled with his family.
- Charles Burney tours Europe, researching for his History of Music.
- Hannah More arrives in London.
- An Armenian language press is set up in Chennai, India.
- Elizabeth Bonhôte – The Rambles of Mr Frankly, Published by his Sister
- Jacques Cazotte – Le Diable Amoureux
- Robert Fergusson – The Daft Days
- Sarah Scott – The Test of Filial Duty
- David Williams – Letter to David Garrick
- György Bessenyei – Ágis tragédiája
- Richard Cumberland – The Fashionable Lover
- Samuel Foote – The Nabob
- David Garrick – The Irish Widow
- Gotthold Lessing – Emilia Galotti
- Louis-Sébastien Mercier
- Le faux ami (The False Friend)
- Jean Hennuyer, évêque de Lisieux (written)
- Arthur Murphy – The Grecian Daughter
- Vicente Garcia de la Huerta – Raquel
- Mark Akenside – Poems
- Thomas Chatterton – The Execution of Sir Charles Bawdin
- William Jones – Poems, Consisting Chiefly of Translations from the Asiatick Languages
- William Kenrick – Love in the Suds
- William Mason – The English Garden
- Christopher Smart – Hymns, for the Amusement of Children
- George Alexander Stevens – Songs
- Alphabetum grandonico-malabaricum sive samscrudonicum (with a preface by Giovanni Cristofano Amaduzzi)
- The Encyclopédie in 28 volumes by Diderot, d'Alembert, and many others
- Moses Browne – The Excellency of the Knowledge of Jesus Christ
- José Cadalso – Los eruditos a la violeta
- William Chambers – A Dissertation on Oriental Gardening
- Junius (possibly Philip Francis) – Junius: Stat Nominis Umbra
- Francis Grose – The Antiquities of England and Wales
- Johann Gottfried Herder – Abhandlung über den Ursprung der Sprache (Treatise on the Origin of Language)
- Richard Hurd – An Introduction to the Study of Prophecies...
- Carsten Niebuhr – Beschreibung von Arabien
- Joseph Priestley – The History and Present State of Discoveries Relating to Vision, Light, and Colours
- Francis Stoughton Sullivan (died 1766) – An Historical Treatise on the Feudal Law, and the Constitution and Laws of England
- Catherine Talbot – Essays on Various Subjects
- Wilhelm Abraham Teller – Wörterbuch des Neuen Testamentes zur Erklärung der christlichen Lehre (Dictionary of the New Testament for the Explanation of Christian Doctrine)
- January 15 – James Ballantyne, Scottish editor and publisher (died 1833)
- March 10 – Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel, German poet, literary critic, philosopher and philologist (died 1829)
- April 11 – Manuel José Quintana, Spanish poet (died 1857)
- May 2 – Novalis (Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg), German poet and philosopher (died 1801)
- August 29 – Sarah Burney, English novelist (died 1844)
- September 27 – Sándor Kisfaludy, Hungarian poet (died 1844)
- October 21 – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet (died 1834)
- November 17 – Marc-Antoine Madeleine Désaugiers, French dramatist (died 1827)
- November 28 – Johann Gottfried Jakob Hermann, German classical commentator and philologist (died 1848)
- December 6
- Approximate date – Charlotte Dacre, English Gothic novelist (died 1825)
- March 26 – Charles Pinot Duclos, French novelist and encyclopedist (born 1704)
- March 29 – Emanuel Swedenborg, Swedish philosopher (born 1688)
- May 22 – Durastante Natalucci, Italian historian (born 1687)
- June – Thomas Whately, English politician and writer (born 1726)
- June 18 – Johann Ulrich von Cramer, German philosopher (born 1706)
- October 7 – John Woolman, American abolitionist author (smallpox, born 1720)
- October 10 – William Wilkie, Scottish poet (ague, born 1721)
- November 10 – Pedro Correia Garção, Portuguese poet (born 1724)
- Unknown dates
- Wood, G. W. (1896). "An Account of the Translation and Editions of the Holy Scriptures in the Manx Language". The Manx Church Magazine. 6.
- Slaughter, Thomas P. (2008). The Beautiful Soul of John Woolman, Apostle of Abolition, New York: Hill and Wang, p. 378
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1900). . Dictionary of National Biography. 61. London: Smith, Elder & Co.