Definition of rhyme in US English:



  • 1Correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry.

    • ‘The rhyme and rhythm of Alborough's duck tales, with their bold, easy-to-follow images, make them ideal for reading aloud.’
    • ‘Through a series of linked sequences the programmes encourage the exploration of the sounds of words, the feel of rhythm and rhyme and the enjoyment of conversation and stories.’
    • ‘His speciality is ‘chatting’ - rhythm and rhyme in words spoken very fast over the top of garage or drum ‘n’ bass music.’
    • ‘For most kids, as for most adults, poetry means rhyme.’
    • ‘Of particular beauty here, of course, is the use of utterly inappropriate terms to maintain the rhyme, which saw ‘gloat’ used as a noun directly above this unlearned and unlovely deformed child of a verse.’
    • ‘The final tasks included matching of beginning sounds and ending sounds, awareness of rhyme, and phoneme deletion.’
    • ‘‘We omitted the verb to save the rhyme,’ the singer should say.’
    • ‘I quite enjoyed them, actually, cursed and maybe blessed by Bolan's original spell to forever find something in the pop song, the three-minute blast of mood and rhyme, sound and time.’
    • ‘Robert Frost thought that ‘writing poetry without rhyme, is like playing tennis without a net.’’
    • ‘The whole text, containing 114 chapters or surahs, with a total of 6,236 verses, thus has a lattice structure which connects every word with every other word by rhythm, rhyme and meaning.’
    • ‘Short strings of words, prefabricated motifs, are here the building blocks to be arranged with respect to rhythm and rhyme, linking verbal and nonverbal themes in a composite system.’
    • ‘He followed the Greeks in arguing that a poem, like the soul itself, resembles a living organism, a pattern of reason ordered by rhyme and rhythm.’
    • ‘After Freud and Einstein unleashed their discoveries, the novel retreated from narrative, poetry retreated from rhyme, and art retreated from the representational into the abstract.’
    • ‘Also, children seem to be born with a love of rhyme and rhythm.’
    • ‘The first two stanzas from his ode The Ancient Town of Leith are a wonderful example of his indifference to nearly everything - other than rhyme - that distinguishes poetry.’
    • ‘Italian DJs and musicians who chose the musical idiom of rap, which is based on the relation between words and rhymes, found dialect a more malleable language in which to combine rhythm and rhyme.’
    • ‘At least those who were there got a sample of this artist's talent for rhythm and rhyme.’
    • ‘The design here doesn't need spelling out though it merits some study for the play of rhyme, internal or half-rhyme and repeated vowel shapes is too subtle to take in at a glance.’
    • ‘This restoration of the poet transpires beyond words, music, and rhyme.’
    • ‘In 1583, Sidney grumbled that much of the bad poetry circulating in England was but ‘a tingling sound of rhyme, barely accompanied with reason’.’
    1. 1.1 A short poem in which the sound of the word or syllable at the end of each line corresponds with that at the end of another.
      • ‘Other research suggests that by learning rhymes, poems, and jingles children develop awareness of sounds in words.’
      • ‘Words in poems or rhymes that sound the same but look different can be confusing for young children.’
      • ‘Then, and whenever I felt frustration building - that old Sonnet-Anxiety - I backed off, put students into groups again, did silly rhymes.’
      • ‘‘It is more of a nonsense rhyme, which is catchy to the children,’ H. Pradeep Pai of the networks says.’
      • ‘And as school days approach, you'll be able to enjoy simple conversations as she begins to talk in sentences, and sing rhymes.’
      • ‘Also try to make short rhymes to help you remember.’
      • ‘Like ballads, libellous rhymes and verses were intended for circulation across oral, scribal, and printed media.’
      • ‘Before serving themselves, each person has to make up a short rhyme.’
      • ‘Superimposed upon this conversation, a quartet from the chorus begins to sing children's rhymes dedicated to Benjamin's son Stefan, born in April 1918.’
      • ‘Often, this can be enhanced with the assistance of familiar childhood rhymes and poems.’
      • ‘We prance around the football field in short skirts and belly bearing tops and recite short rhymes.’
      • ‘Got any lines / rhymes on artificial intelligence?’
      • ‘If you listen to most rhymes of rappers they always remind me of the rhymes of Alexander Pope, the English poet.’
      • ‘Her voice was musical and gentle as she sang childish rhymes of the frightful Finn Mac Coul so that the young ones knelt attentively and obediently along side her.’
      • ‘Razzledazzle is a new literacy series from CBeebies where children and presenters play games, enjoy poems, rhymes and rhythms, sing and dance - and invite those at home to join in the fun.’
      • ‘Traditional Basque folk poets improvise and sing rhymes on any subject.’
      • ‘In the movie, words, poetry, and rhymes are more than a diversion, but a vehicle for redemption and enlightenment.’
      • ‘Go to Numberland for fun facts, poems and rhymes about numbers.’
      • ‘Without the old winters, a lot of our seasonal poems, rhymes and novels don't make sense.’
      • ‘While the texts of the other Lieder were rather simple rhymes in common rhyme schemes like a-b-a-b, the text here is very difficult, both to interpret and to sing.’
    2. 1.2 Poetry or verse marked by rhyme.
      ‘the clues were written in rhyme’
      • ‘After you've been reading Seuss books they do start to make you think in rhyme, so it didn't surprise me to read in your book that Seuss himself often joked that he couldn't speak in prose at all.’
      • ‘In this article, Jim Nolan, the well-known Ballinrush story teller in rhyme or prose, gives us an insight into what he considers the worst snow fall during his lifetime.’
      • ‘He blusters, intrigues, fights, and will even speak in rhyme if the situation seems to warrant.’
      • ‘As long as it has to do with Twinkies, I don't care if it's an ode, a love poem, a hate poem, a recipe in rhyme or a limerick about what you do with your frozen Twinkies when no one is looking.’
      • ‘I suppose it's possible, and I know some of our trial judges have written a few things in rhyme, but while they may sit back and applaud, I don't think there's any groundswell to follow suit.’
      • ‘Alone, Prospero speaks an epilogue, in rhyme, saying that now that he has no magic powers he needs the audience's indulgent applause to free him.’
      • ‘The translation is partly in free verse and partly in rhyme.’
      • ‘Answer everyone in rhyme, to make heroic couplets.’
      • ‘He also liked to write in verse, often setting his exam questions in rhyme.’
      • ‘Sometime between 1 and 2pm on April 24, we would come along and one of the criers would do a cry about that person's business in rhyme.’
      • ‘He finds out that Helmholtz too has been in trouble for writing some rhymes about being alone, a concept which goes against all principles of sleep-teaching.’
      • ‘The revamped series of Dr Seuss books have been colour-coded with the green backed books aimed at younger children with bright simple illustrations and as with all Dr Seuss tales the narrative is in rhyme.’
      • ‘William arranged this in rhyme to produce one of the most famous poems in the world.’
      • ‘The girls took part in a six-week writing course run by writer and editor Harriet Sharkey and then compiled a series of short stories about savage murders, rap competitions, diving adventures, teachers speaking in rhyme and even pet pigs.’
      • ‘The artists built the city of Boston on stage, and I wrote a kind of heroic Shakespearean text in blank verse and rhyme (which two characters recited) about the city's history.’
      • ‘Here, then, in honor of April, are books that place the best words in the best possible order: some poetry, some books in rhyme.’
      • ‘Instead, he spoke in rhyme, softly into her ear.’
      • ‘Alison Croggon speaks of ‘a dreadful orthodoxy’ that has ‘rushed in to fill the vacuum left by conventional rhyme, a free verse which is anything but free or verse’.’
      • ‘The Live Poets will battle it out in verse and rhyme at the popular Poetry Slam, next Wednesday, June 19, at the Rous Hotel in Lismore.’
      • ‘Some people say it is completely reactionary because it is in rhyme and meter and that it's got this antiquated stanzaic form etcetera.’
      poem, piece of poetry, verse, ditty, ode, limerick, song, jingle, verse composition, metrical composition
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A word that has the same sound as another.
      • ‘His nonsense-filled rhymes and seemingly drunken delivery set him apart from the other Wu members, while his unpredictable mic persona made him the hot - if not ridiculous - verse on many a song.’
      • ‘The first is based upon the sestina, the poetic form broadly practiced in the Italian Renaissance, involving the regular permutation of six rhymes.’
      • ‘I'm always hiding things in my poems too - internal rhymes and puns and word play and fooling around with cliches.’
      • ‘The tetrameters are made to halt, by placing the strongest syntactical and rhetorical pauses within the short lines, while the strong rhymes chime out the line endings.’
      • ‘He is a master at finding rhymes, and anyway claims so much freedom that he is willing to rhyme ‘English’ with ‘language’.’
      • ‘Given the functional illiteracy on either side of it, I'm guessing it was a half-understood attempt to find a rhyme for a line that makes no sense anyway.’
      • ‘In O'Floinn's translations he attempts to maintain the meter insofar as the number of syllables and the primary rhymes are concerned.’
      • ‘The emphatic if irregular end rhymes work in a similar way and reflect the claustrophobia of the situation with all three participants seemingly trapped in a hall of mirrors.’
      • ‘I like some the choppy rhythm, and the alternating difficult rhymes - endless/tortoise, fractal/awful, commitments/balance.’
      • ‘Their versification is traditional, though impudent rhymes and elusive caesuras shocked diehards.’
      • ‘For all the upbeat luster of their imagery and rhymes, his poems are often confessions of loneriness and distress.’
      • ‘That's really odd, too, that the whole plot comes from the rhyme, from the need for rhymes.’
      • ‘Our poems don't rhyme, because rhymes keep our chains of bondage on free thought, chains invented by men.’
      • ‘With a rhyme-scheme of ABABCCAB, the A rhymes start the suspense moving across several lines and establish a network to which the poem returns.’
      • ‘We found that his stanza form in Don Juan does make subjects read more quickly than readers focusing on the rhymes of an elegy in a similar metre.’
      • ‘The rest of the rhymes are embedded in the middle of lines whose meter becomes erratic.’
      • ‘It's an incredible layering of puns and rhymes and finally everything seems to rhyme and pun with something, with everything else.’
      • ‘His earlier work tends to be written in traditional rhymed quatrains but, as he matured, he dropped the rhymes and worked in a freer but still basically alexandrine movement.’
      • ‘On the printed page the orations' abstractions, clichés, and monotonously regular iambic tetrameter and rhymes smother both emotional force and intellectual conviction.’
      • ‘Valery represents the circularity of both the sunset and contemplation in the pauseless pace of lines two and three, and by his emphasis of particular rhymes.’


[no object]
  • 1(of a word, syllable, or line) have or end with a sound that corresponds to another.

    ‘balloon rhymes with moon’
    • ‘Employees dubbed it The Room of Doom, just because the two words rhymed, and it sounded threatening.’
    • ‘It has everything to do with his voice: a swollen, slurry, guttural drawl that rumbles under tracks like an earthquake and hammers vowels until any one word can rhyme with any other word.’
    • ‘The first two lines must rhyme, as must the final two; the rhymes must be as ingenious as possible, and the overall sense tellingly apt.’
    • ‘I know one of the oddities about ‘Moonlight in Vermont’ is no line rhymes.’
    • ‘I read my first chapter book, I learned to ride my bike without training wheels, and I figured out that the worst word in the world rhymes with ‘duck’.’
    • ‘Next year I hope to win an award for an experimental, dental epic poem in which every line rhymes with ‘floss’.’
    • ‘The only other common word that rhymes with nuclear is the unfamiliar cochlear.’
    • ‘The participant was asked if another word rhymed or sounded like the target word.’
    • ‘This one's irregular in that it neither rhymes nor has the same number of feet or beats in every line.’
    • ‘I saw Aurora give Jackie a glare before she rolled her eyes and said the curse word that rhymes with ‘witch’ to her friend sitting next to her.’
    • ‘Rhodes rhymes with a bunch of words, like abodes, roads, toads, loads and countless other examples.’
    • ‘Orange will again become the word no other word rhymes with rather than the penultimate beacon of national anxiety.’
    • ‘Many Chinese consider the number eight to be lucky because it rhymes with the Chinese word for getting rich.’
    • ‘Rubaiyat are independent quatrains, most often written with the first, second and fourth lines rhyming.’
    • ‘While the children may not be aware of the names for the different sounds in the words or understand why the words rhyme, they are aware that they can create words that sound the same and, more important, that this activity is fun.’
    • ‘Otherwise, if it starts with ‘s’ and ends with ‘s’ and rhymes with shorts, just leave me out of it.’
    • ‘Part of phonemic awareness is the understanding that two words may sound the same, or rhyme, or begin with the same letter sound.’
    • ‘Make up a line… make up another line, making sure that the last word rhymes with the previous last word, and ensure that the entire lyric is damn near meaningless.’
    • ‘For example, if a child reports that it is raining, the teacher can ask if anyone can think of a word that rhymes with ‘rain.’’
    • ‘Couplets contain two lines with ending words rhyming.’
    1. 1.1 (of a poem or song) be composed of lines that end in words or syllables with sounds that correspond with those at the ends of other lines.
      ‘the poem would have been better if it had rhymed’
      • ‘Ah, the times when song lyrics rhymed - too much.’
      • ‘Frontman Win Butler's lyrics rarely bother to rhyme, allowing their bizarre but always sincere sentiments to reach the ear even more directly.’
      • ‘Crucially, while her written poems rhymed, her BSL translations did not, because BSL differs from English in grammatical structure.’
      • ‘Now, I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end.’
      • ‘The poem was long, compared to most of the Egyptian poems I've read, and rhymed.’
      • ‘The Dong Song is a chanted rhymed poem, marked by an abundance of striking metaphors.’
      • ‘It's not just any kind of poetry, but strictly traditional poetic forms like sonnets and sestinas - the kind that rhymes and has a formal meter.’
      • ‘The Arts Festival does not float my boat, as I only read non-fiction, I only watch television or films based on a true story, and I only like paintings of ships, sculptures of patriots, and poems that rhyme.’
      • ‘Standing there, hearing a distant roar of London traffic, the woman next to me looks disgruntled, something to do with the poems not rhyming.’
      • ‘Our poems don't rhyme, because rhymes keep our chains of bondage on free thought, chains invented by men.’
      • ‘We heard songs with lyrics which could be understood, rhymed and made sense - how about that!’
      • ‘Poetry is memorable and meant to be memorised through forms such as songs and things that rhyme.’
      • ‘After 5 albums, Noel should realise that lyrics do not have to rhyme to get the point across.’
      • ‘In the original languages, the ghazal is a highly rhymed form, but the English version as we know it now refuses the rhyming couplet.’
      • ‘Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.’
      • ‘Weatherford's poems are mostly rhymed and each is accompanied by a striking vintage photo or illustration.’
      • ‘I did a double-take, wondering if Peace had meant for that to rhyme, or if it had been an accident.’
      • ‘Most of the poems employ the forms of the sonnet, rhymed couplets, and ballad stanzas, and most were composed while Cullen was an undergraduate at New York University.’
      • ‘This would not happen if the poem rhymed, but the poem does not rhyme.’
      • ‘He brought in stacks of plain and emphatically rhymed popular poems copied from newspaper columns and asked us what we thought of them.’
    2. 1.2rhyme something withwith object Put a word together with (another word that has a corresponding sound), as when writing poetry.
      ‘I'm not sure about rhyming perestroika with balalaika’
      • ‘Alright, you try and rhyme something with ‘java’!’
      • ‘The tune to ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ is butchered several times as the duo repeatedly prove my personal point that you should always refrain from trying to rhyme a word with ‘pizza.’’
      • ‘I'm entirely confident however that my colleague's (just possibly ironic) decision last night to rhyme it with ‘bunch’ is not correct.’
      • ‘They even sang a song about him which managed to rhyme his name with vest.’
      • ‘Juelz Santana has a long history of jumping in and proceeding to rhyme his last name with ‘hammer’ and ‘bandana.’’
      • ‘‘Actually, I'd never seen a bidet,’ confesses Jackman, slightly sheepish (he also rhymes it with ‘g'day’).’
      • ‘The ‘cadena’ might be seen as a metaphor for the love that binds Lope and compels him to write; fittingly, it is rhymed with ‘pena.’’
      • ‘In the original, Job wound up with boils and I kept dreading what they'd rhyme it with… spoils?’
      • ‘Some of the residents jokingly call it Seizure World (he rhymes it with the American pronunciation of ‘leisure’).’
      • ‘The Lyre of Orpheus is Abattoir's romantic, come-down counterpart, though Cave can't resist rhyming the title with ‘orifice.’’
    3. 1.3literary Compose verse or poetry.
      ‘Musa rhymed and sang’
      • ‘‘We talked and rhymed and wrote silly poems,’ Alex said with a sigh.’
      • ‘From buying CDs and memorizing lyrics, the cousins started rhyming and producing lyrics themselves.’
      • ‘Merwin opts not to follow the terza rima strictly, or rather he rhymes so freely that he chooses not to speak of it.’
      • ‘For some, hip-hop theater is a new form that brings the primary elements of hip-hop culture - rhyming, deejaying, graffiti art and dance - onto the proscenium stage.’
      • ‘Since reggae had not yet attained great popularity in New York, Herc adapted his style by rhyming over the instrumental or percussion sections of the popular songs of that era.’


  • rhyme or reason

    • with negativeLogical explanation or reason.

      ‘without rhyme or reason his mood changed’
      • ‘There isn't meant to be rhyme or reason to it, and that's one reason why some of my coworkers have had so much fun playing with it themselves.’
      • ‘Why do i find some people so irritating without rhyme or reason?’
      • ‘Mostly short articles that seem to bounce around from topic to topic, really with no rhyme or reason, but are informative and interesting.’
      • ‘Everything from sports, politics, arts, culture and religion find a place in these animated discussions, which often veer away from one topic to another for no apparent rhyme or reason.’
      • ‘I'm feeling somewhat better today - there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to these things, and the longer it goes for, fortunately, the weaker and less frequent it gets.’
      • ‘Prosecutor Neil White said the incident appeared to be without ‘provocation, rhyme or reason.’’
      • ‘There is no rhyme or reason to the list but there are 20 other countries where the retirement pension - and widow's or bereavement benefits - are paid in full.’
      • ‘There's not much rhyme or reason to it, for better or for worse.’
      • ‘With this somewhat spurious connection culled from the works, Mr. Slatkin only underscored that the program had more or less been cobbled together without rhyme or reason.’
      • ‘But when there is no rhyme or reason for such a system blocking my access to sites that quite frankly helped me do my job… that's when it frustrates me.’


Middle English rime, from Old French, from medieval Latin rithmus, via Latin from Greek rhuthmos (see rhythm). The current spelling was introduced in the early 17th century under the influence of rhythm.