Definition of clerihew
: a light verse quatrain rhyming aabb and usually dealing with a person named in the initial rhyme
clerihew was our Word of the Day on 12/01/2006. Hear the podcast!
Recent Examples of clerihew from the Web
Easy to write and fun to read, entrants were asked to write a clerihew that describes a famous scientist or other person, or event closely associated with fire.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clerihew'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956) was an English writer whose book Biography for Beginners was published in 1906 under the name E. Clerihew. It was a collection of simple, humorous four-line verses about famous people. Bentley had begun writing them as a bored high school student. He didn't call them clerihews himself, but his readers began to do so after the book appeared. How soon after, we can't be sure, because so far we've unearthed nothing earlier than a 1914 description of clerihews as "epigram[s] in hartogs, which are, of course, one’s oldest and most comfortable clothes." In any case, people have been having fun writing their own clerihews ever since Bentley shared his.
Origin and Etymology of clerihew
Edmund Clerihew Bentley †1956 English writer
First Known Use: 1928
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