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Alternative forms[edit]


Probably from dog +‎ -rel (pejorative suffix), akin to Dog Latin, late 14th c.



doggerel (not comparable)

  1. (poetry) Of a crude or irregular construction. (Originally applied to humorous verse, but now to verse lacking artistry or meaning.)
    • 1678, John Dryden, "Prologue to Limberham," lines 1-4,
      True wit has seen its best days long ago;
      It ne'er look'd up, since we were dipp'd in show:
      When sense in doggerel rhymes and clouds was lost,
      And dulness flourish'd at the actors' cost.



doggerel (countable and uncountable, plural doggerels)

  1. (poetry) A comic or humorous verse, usually irregular in measure.
    • 1894, George du Maurier, Trilby[1], page 302:
      Taffy drew a long breath into his manly bosom, and kept it there as he read this characteristic French doggerel (for so he chose to call this touching little symphony in ère and ra).
    • 1895 October 1, Stephen Crane, chapter 8, in The Red Badge of Courage, 1st US edition, New York: D. Appleton and Company, page 86:
      As he marched he sang a bit of doggerel in a high and quavering voice:
      "Sing a song 'a vic'try,
      A pocketful 'a bullets,
      Five an' twenty dead men
      Baked in a—pie."



  • doggerel in An American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828.
  • doggerel in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • doggerel” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  • doggerel” in Microsoft's Encarta World English Dictionary, North American Edition (2007)
  • "doggerel" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • doggerel” in the Compact Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary (1987-1996)

Further reading[edit]