Main definitions of limerick in US English:

: limerick1Limerick2



  • A humorous, frequently bawdy, verse of three long and two short lines rhyming aabba, popularized by Edward Lear.

    • ‘Perceiving the underlying metre of the limerick is not just a simple linear experience.’
    • ‘I curled up with Nash's couplets, quatrains, limericks and occasional jeremiads.’
    • ‘I used to write limericks, so I just started writing tunes to go with them.’
    • ‘That song title is just crying out loud for a limerick to be made.’
    • ‘Since I don't know any good shanties or sea songs, I hope a limerick will do.’
    • ‘During the meal, the women read poems and limericks.’
    • ‘Occasionally I have been known to flirt with a publicist - but my poetry recitals are restricted to dirty limericks.’
    • ‘A reader, who asks to remain anonymous, says that, once while participating in an intensive Latin program, he passed the time by making Catullus poems into limericks.’
    • ‘Verbal abuse and insulting ditties, ballads, limericks, and other doggerel had long been directed at the monarch, his ministers, close family, and mistresses as well as at the elites of the kingdom by their social inferiors.’
    • ‘She wants them to help create a book of poems, limericks or stories written about the pub which sits next to the East Lancashire Road.’
    • ‘The older children have the opportunity to show off their creative skills by composing a limerick based on the Millrace Hotel, who are the sponsors of this competition.’
    • ‘Many were skeptical, the editor reports, expecting a low response, or results dominated by Shakespeare or ‘dirty limericks.’’
    • ‘Please compose a poem, limerick or any other rhyming prose of your choice. It must be at least 3 verses long and start with the words.’
    • ‘Stoppard uses a dazzling range of literary and theatrical effects, from Wildean epigram to a scene written entirely in limericks, from a suggestion of strip-tease to a lecture on Marxist theory.’
    • ‘At this time he could no longer see well enough to draw an accompanying cartoon; indeed, the composition of limericks was about the only creative activity that still remained open to him.’
    • ‘A sonnet can be about love and beauty and a limerick about flatulence and sex, but not the other way around.’
    • ‘The show celebrates the diverse experiences theatre has given Darryl over the years, from reciting lewd limericks in Bloemfontein to rocking and rolling in Buenos Aires.’
    • ‘I spent an hour recently trying to explain limericks to a Chinese from Tientsin; which left him bewildered, me frustrated, and the staff of the bar we were in, in hysterics.’
    • ‘Born in Brooklyn, like so many wry Americans, Davis has written a sizeable collection of limericks and poems about the current state of the union.’
    • ‘Regale everyone with your soppy songs, recite your loopy limericks, and maybe even draw a doodle or two!’
    poem, piece of poetry, lyric, sonnet, ode, rhyme, composition, metrical composition, piece of doggerel
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Late 19th century: said to be from the chorus ‘will you come up to Limerick?’, sung between improvised verses at a gathering.




Main definitions of limerick in US English:

: limerick1Limerick2


proper noun

  • 1A county in the Republic of Ireland, in the western part of the province of Munster.

    1. 1.1 The county town of Limerick, on the Shannon River; population 52,539 (2006).