[daw-ger-uh l, dog-er-]


(of verse)
  1. comic or burlesque, and usually loose or irregular in measure.
  2. rude; crude; poor.


doggerel verse.

Also dog·grel [daw-gruh l, dog-ruh l] /ˈdɔ grəl, ˈdɒg rəl/.

Origin of doggerel

1350–1400; Middle English; see dog, -rel; cf. dog Latin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for doggerel

Historical Examples of doggerel

  • Because you recited that doggerel about The Run of Crusader.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Ramsey shook his head and tried to force the thoughts from his mind with doggerel.

    Equation of Doom

    Gerald Vance

  • This supposition has found strength and sanction in doggerel verse.

    Welsh Folk-Lore

    Elias Owen

  • By now, Presley could not tell whether what he had written was true poetry or doggerel.

    The Octopus

    Frank Norris

  • My lady was pleased to laugh at the doggerel, and even Mrs. Manners.

    Richard Carvel, Complete

    Winston Churchill

British Dictionary definitions for doggerel


dogrel (ˈdɒɡrəl)


  1. comic verse, usually irregular in measure
  2. (as modifier)a doggerel rhythm
nonsense; drivel

Word Origin for doggerel

C14 dogerel worthless, perhaps from dogge dog
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 doggerel

late 14c. (adj.); 1630s (n.), probably from dog + pejorative suffix -rel and applied to bad poetry perhaps with a suggestion of puppyish clumsiness, or being fit only for dogs. Attested as a surname from mid-13c., but the sense is not evident.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper