- a light verse form, usually consisting of two couplets, with lines of uneven length and irregular meter, the first line usually containing the name of a well-known person.
Origin of clerihew
1925–30; named after E. Clerihew Bentley (1875–1956), English writer, its inventor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for clerihew
"Two gills to the coffin-room, Mrs. Clerihew," he cried to the woman in the kitchen.The Shoes of Fortune
The three kept sentry, knowing that Clerihew must sooner or later return with his convoy, there being no other exit.
For a good five minutes the pair mauled Mrs. Clerihew, who, with an air of high gentility, went on ironing shirts.
But Mrs. Clerihew, between her lapses, clung passionately to gentility and the world's esteem.
When it was time to be going she thanked Mrs. Clerihew very prettily, and walked back with Brother Copas to her father's room.
- a form of comic or satiric verse, consisting of two couplets of metrically irregular lines, containing the name of a well-known person
C20: named after Edmund Clerihew Bentley, who invented it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for clerihew
humorous verse form, 1928, from English humorist Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956), who described it in a book published 1906 under the name E. Clerihew.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper