Limerick Definition

Poetry Definition of Limerick

A limerick is a five-line, often humorous and ribald poem with a strict meter. Lines 1, 2, and 5 of have seven to ten syllables (three metrical feet) and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 have five to seven (two metrical feet) syllables and also rhyme with each other. The rhyme scheme is usually "A-A-B-B-A".

Limerick Rhythm

Limericks have a distinct rhythm. The rhythm is as follows:

da DUM da da DUM da da DUM   7-10 syllables   A
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM   7-10 syllables   A
da DUM da da DUM                       5-7 syllables    B
da DUM da da DUM                       5-7 syllables    B
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM    7-10 syllables  A


There once was a man from Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket.
      But his daughter, named Nan,
      Ran away with a man
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.

Top 5 Limerick Poem Examples

PMPoem TitlePoetFormCategories
Premium Member Poem AT THE FOOTBRIDGE - LIMERICK COLLABORATION ALLISON, JAN Limerickbetrayal, body, humorous,
Premium Member Poem A Desperate Housewife - in limerick form Dietrich, Andrea Limerickadventure, wife,
Premium Member Poem JAN ALLISON has a Fan vaso, arthur Limerickbeautiful, character, dedication, humorous,
Premium Member Poem The Curse: COLLABORATION Cozart, Dale Gregory Limerickbody, humor,
Premium Member Poem Mute It S , Judith Limerickanger,

Standard Definition

[n] a humorous verse form of 5 anapestic lines with a rhyme scheme aabba
[n] port city in southwestern Ireland

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Misc. Definitions

\Lim"er*ick\, n. [Said to be from a song with the same verse construction, current in Ireland, the refrain of which contains the place name Limerick.] A nonsense poem of five anapestic lines, of which lines 1, 2, and 5 are of there feet, and rime, and lines 3 and 4 are of two feet, and rime; as There was a young lady, Amanda, Whose Ballades Lyriques were quite fin de Si[`e]cle, I deem But her Journal Intime Was what sent her papa to Uganda.

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