dog·​ger·​el | \ ˈdȯ-g(ə-)rəl How to pronounce doggerel (audio) , ˈdä- \

Definition of doggerel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: loosely styled and irregular in measure especially for burlesque or comic effect also : marked by triviality or inferiority



Definition of doggerel (Entry 2 of 2)

: doggerel verse

Examples of doggerel in a Sentence

Noun a few lines of doggerel
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The story, written in a doggerel stuffed with show-biz references (Darryl F. Zanuck! Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "Bette Midler Looks Back on Her Autobiographical, Fantastical Children’s Book, “The Saga of Baby Divine”," 25 June 2019 Lee’s most memorable speech bubbles totter on the edge between speech, poetry, and outright doggerel. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "The larger-than-life huckster dialogue of Stan Lee," 13 Nov. 2018 This week in Washington, the ugly doggerel of the present was voiced in angry and tendentious tweets from the White House. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Trump’s hard-line view of immigration draws parallels to the 1930s," 25 June 2018 So good they can be called a sacred blessing (With celery, of course, and blue cheese dressing) This augural doggerel — called On Buffalo’s Losing the Super Bowl — ran in The Nation after the Bills lost that fourth one following the 1993 season. Erik Brady, USA TODAY, "Can Bills finally put an end to 17-year playoff skid?," 31 Oct. 2017 Eacker’s poetry explores not only relatable subjects such as gardening, nature, sports, love, aging and life, but also the process of writing doggerel (bad verse). idahostatesman, "Terrorists in Idaho? Boise writer imagines this scenario in new book.," 28 July 2017 Perhaps no children’s form is more ancient than the book of verse, those compilations of light doggerel meant to entertain and instruct. Michael Ian Black, New York Times, "NO FAIR! NO FAIR!," 11 Nov. 2016 Ali, who died Friday at 74, recited doggerel, danced in the ring, taunted his opponents and converted to Islam. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell: Foils and Friends Bound by Mutual Respect," 4 June 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doggerel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of doggerel


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1630, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for doggerel


Middle English dogerel, probably diminutive of dogge dog

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Time Traveler for doggerel

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The first known use of doggerel was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Doggerel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of doggerel

: poetry that is poorly written and that often is not meant to be taken seriously

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