lim·​er·​ick | \ ˈli-mə-rik How to pronounce limerick (audio) , ˈlim-rik\

Definition of limerick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a light or humorous verse form of five chiefly anapestic verses of which lines 1, 2, and 5 are of three feet and lines 3 and 4 are of two feet with a rhyme scheme of aabba


geographical name
Lim·​er·​ick | \ ˈli-mə-rik How to pronounce Limerick (audio) , ˈlim-rik\

Definition of Limerick (Entry 2 of 2)

1 county of southwestern Ireland in Munster area 1037 square miles (2696 square kilometers), population 191,809
2 city and port on the Shannon River in southwestern Ireland population 57,106

Note: The city of Limerick is the capital of the county of Limerick.

Examples of limerick in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Joe Orlando of Mesa wrote this winning limerick: The haboob blows through here each year. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "This is why dust storms are called 'haboobs' in Arizona," 10 July 2018 Boyd writes that an appellate judge hearing the case stopped taking notes and wrote a limerick about the cheeky swimmer: Who can surpass the snail darter? Rachel Riederer, The New Republic, "Can Rivers Be People Too?," 9 May 2018 This comes in addition to a number of pre-existing Star Wars trivia already functioning embedded in the tech, from asking for a Star Wars limerick to getting Alexa to speak like Yoda instead of its soothing regular voice. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Now Your Alexa Will Respond to Even More Star Wars Commands for May the Fourth," 2 May 2018 And no history of the limerick, or of light verse, can escape his imposing presence. Junot Díaz, The New Yorker, "The Sense Beneath Edward Lear’s Nonsense," 17 Apr. 2018 According to reports, the limerick, below, was publically posted in the bookstore. Katie Van Syckle, The Cut, "Biggest Bombshells in New Report on Radio Host Garrison Keillor," 23 Jan. 2018 None of the impressionistic muddle of rock lyrics for them; their subjects, scenarios and verbal conceits are as clear and legible as limericks. Nitsuh Abebe, New York Times, "New Sentences: From ‘A Little Bit Like Fun,’ by Sparks," 29 Sep. 2017 In Act 2 … the show stops dead while Lewis does a stand-up routine, reciting off-color limericks, Polish jokes and rabbi stories while trying to catch but missing 16 canes that are thrown in from off-stage. Lawrence Toppman, charlotteobserver, "Comic actor, tireless telethon host and needy performer Jerry Lewis dies at 91," 20 Aug. 2017 A limerick by Zoot: There once was a sneaky cat This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Cathé Post, WIRED, "Post Family Poets Take Over The Computer…," 1 Apr. 2011

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'limerick.' 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 limerick


1895, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for limerick


Limerick, Ireland

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More Definitions for limerick



English Language Learners Definition of limerick

: a humorous rhyming poem of five lines


lim·​er·​ick | \ ˈli-mə-rik How to pronounce limerick (audio) \

Kids Definition of limerick

: a funny poem with five lines

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More from Merriam-Webster on limerick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with limerick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for limerick

Spanish Central: Translation of limerick

Nglish: Translation of limerick for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about limerick

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