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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In May 1990, third-grader Taylor Burns sent him a handwritten limerick about a mouse found in a stew. Emma Balter, Chron, 4 Oct. 2022 Lines 1, 2 and 5 of a limerick rhyme with one another, as do Lines 3 and 4. Pat Myers, Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2022 Chris Doyle’s limerick about police SWAT teams, used as an example for Week 1396, is a case in point. Pat Myers, Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2022 The limerick packs laughs anatomical Into space that is quite economical. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Dec. 2021 My colleague Kari Sonde, who explored popcorn-frying the little buggers, recalled that after the recipe was published, one reader submitted a limerick suggesting she be fired. Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2021 By definition, a limerick is a nonsense poem of five anapestic lines, of which lines one, two and five are of three feet and rhyme and lines three and four are of two feet and rhyme. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Dec. 2021 The title doesn’t have to appear within the limerick itself. Washington Post, 17 June 2021 Write a limerick featuring a word starting with he-. Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


Limerick, Ireland

First Known Use

1895, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of limerick was in 1895


Dictionary Entries Near limerick




Cite this Entry

“Limerick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


lim·​er·​ick ˈlim-(ə-)rik How to pronounce limerick (audio)
: a humorous poem five lines long in which the first, second, and fifth lines have one rhyme and the third and fourth another

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Lim·​er·​ick ˈli-mə-rik How to pronounce Limerick (audio)
county of southwestern Ireland in Munster area 1037 square miles (2696 square kilometers), population 191,809
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.

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