Definition of doggerel in US English:



  • 1Comic verse composed in irregular rhythm.

    • ‘Even random bits of doggerel cannot escape incorporation into the design.’
    • ‘The literal meaning of this piece of doggerel is similar to saying that someone would argue that black is white.’
    • ‘All the performers wore cloth caps, in token of the proletarian poet whose doggerel verses about the Tay Bridge and its collapse in 1879 provided the work's text.’
    • ‘It was sometimes amusing or even witty doggerel, but doggerel, and everyone knew about his voice.’
    • ‘A chemist, vet, optician, insurance agent and professional shutterbug, Samuel was known for his rhyming doggerel which was often published in the newspaper.’
    • ‘At that time the eighteen-year-old Victoria's feminine virules of sympathy and beauty were proclaimed in doggerel verse to the street ballad-reading public.’
    • ‘She wrote well and often corresponded with friends in doggerel verse.’
    • ‘A popular bit of doggerel underlined their usual futility in this fashion: ‘Washington, first in war, first in peace, last in the American League.’’
    • ‘To keep in memory the order and fate of these women, someone devised a bit of doggerel: Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.’
    • ‘The characters are still frequently allegorical, but the comic or farcical element is more prevalent, the versification tends to doggerel, and they are shorter than the moralities.’
    • ‘For most of the 18th century, little was published beyond a few broadsheets containing topical doggerel allied to better-known folksongs, and until the advent of ballad opera there was little by way of popular theatre.’
    • ‘I could never understand why such abominable and silly doggerel as ‘Casey at the Bat’ ever became the canonical poem of both American baseball and the normalcy of failure in general.’
    • ‘Packed with dense texts combining facts about globalization and war with anagrams and doggerel, the book tours an allegorical carnival studded with nightmarish rides and sideshow freaks.’
    • ‘Before Ali left, he'd hugged and kissed them all and made up an original piece of doggerel for each.’
    • ‘Afterwards, he sits on the city hall steps reciting doggerel verses on the vagaries of the day's decisions.’
    • ‘His education at Gonzaga ranged from the classics to Irish doggerel and limericks, which he could quote appropriately with astonishing effect.’
    • ‘I always made sure that it was filled with the finest comic doggerel, epigrams, and songs of a light-hearted nature.’
    • ‘Their cries and shouting broke their doggerel rhythm into a chaos of shouts in which the words Truth and Rupert were most prominent.’
    • ‘Even more frustrating was the fact that all these topics were being lampooned in the rich underground repertoire of jokes, doggerel poems, and song parodies circulating among the public.’
    • ‘The first is the doggerel speech/beach rhyme - which says the poem will be foolish and has us lower our guard.’
    poetry, versification, metrical composition, rhythmical composition, rhyme, rhyming, balladry
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Verse or words that are badly written or expressed.
      ‘the last stanza deteriorates into doggerel’
      • ‘I was writing po-mo doggerel at the age of 12, in a way.’
      • ‘Most of the work was amateurish - ridiculous doggerel written by unskilled poets.’
      • ‘The game has been much eulogised in poetry, some of it doggerel, some of it very good.’
      • ‘It is only, of course, a piece of doggerel compared with the Auden poem but it does underline what poetry can do.’
      • ‘The album's lyrics are not even good enough to be complimented as doggerel, more Neil Lennon than John Lennon.’
      • ‘This is the type of truly bad language-mangling doggerel written by old ladies that appears on the letters pages of local newspapers.’
      • ‘What on earth is my mortgage company thinking of, paying someone to compose this doggerel, paying registration and copyright fees, and printing thousands of copies on glossy paper, and sending it to me?’
      • ‘I have stupidly bragged that I could turn out some doggerel about anything; given the time.’
      • ‘Stipe's lyrics typically looked like doggerel when taken out of context, awkward, over-earnest, frequently diarrheal.’
      • ‘Even those who dismiss the music and its lyrics as mere jump-and-wave doggerel should note that Garlin is not merely a spectacular crowd-pleaser.’
      • ‘For here is drivel that is profound; doggerel that is eloquent; simplemindedness that is deep.’
      • ‘The lyrics intermittently scan as clunkily as the predictable doggerel people send in to newspapers' obituary sections.’
      • ‘The Epilogue to The Tempest has been derided as doggerel, literally interpreted as Shakespeare's farewell to the stage, and supposed to be an interpolation by another hand.’


Late Middle English (as an adjective describing such verse): apparently from dog (used contemptuously, as in dog Latin) + -rel.