Definitions

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

  • n. A light humorous, nonsensical, or bawdy verse of five anapestic lines usually with the rhyme scheme aabba.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A humorous, often bawdy verse of five anapestic lines, with the rhyme scheme aabba, and typically has a 9-9-6-6-9 cadence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A humorous, often nonsensical, and sometimes risqé poem of five anapestic lines, of which lines 1, 2, and 5 are of three feet, and rhyme, and lines 3 and 4 are of two feet, and rhyme.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A nonsense song or verse, one of a series of impromptu productions of a free character, sung at convivial parties in Ireland.
  • n. A nonsense verse of a fixed type, more or less amusing, of the pattern of those written by Edward Lear in his “Book of Nonsense.” See Learic. The following is an example:

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

  • n. port city in southwestern Ireland
  • n. a humorous verse form of 5 anapestic lines with a rhyme scheme aabba

Etymologies

After Limerick .
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Wordies, wordnikkers, whatevers: if you have a talent for limericks, here's a chance for you to win something pretty.

    November 28, 2009

  • One of my favorites is on Sioux. (I could've sworn it was already there before today, but... *shrugs*)

    January 2, 2009

  • Good grief! It's sort of limerickesque, but trying to rhyme such an awkward word threw off the meter a bit. Funny though! :-)

    January 18, 2008

  • I tried my hand at limericking at recrudescent. Not sure I succeeded terribly well. Come to think of it, I may have simply succeeded terribly.

    January 18, 2008

  • I love that one! Thanks for posting it, I had forgotten how it went. :-)

    January 18, 2008

  • One of my favorites, largely because the last two lines are so much fun to say:

    A tutor who tooted a flute
    Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.
    Said the two to the tutor,
    "Is it harder to toot or
    to tutor two tooters to toot?"

    January 18, 2008

  • A groaner, to be sure. One of my brother's favorites. :-)

    May 15, 2007

  • Boo!

    May 15, 2007

  • There was a young man from Japan
    whose limericks never would scan.
    And when they asked why,
    he said: "Because I
    always try and fit as many words into the last line as I possibly can."

    May 15, 2007