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or rime

[rahym] /raɪm/
identity in sound of some part, especially the end, of words or lines of verse.
a word agreeing with another in terminal sound: Find is a rhyme for mind and womankind.
verse or poetry having correspondence in the terminal sounds of the lines.
a poem or piece of verse having such correspondence.
verse (def 4).
verb (used with object), rhymed, rhyming.
to treat in rhyme, as a subject; turn into rhyme, as something in prose.
to compose (verse or the like) in metrical form with rhymes.
to use (a word) as a rhyme to another word; use (words) as rhymes.
verb (used without object), rhymed, rhyming.
to make rhyme or verse; versify.
to use rhyme in writing verse.
to form a rhyme, as one word or line with another:
a word that rhymes with orange.
to be composed in metrical form with rhymes, as verse:
poetry that rhymes.
rhyme or reason, logic, sense, or plan:
There was no rhyme or reason for what they did.
Origin of rhyme
1250-1300; Middle English rime < Old French, derivative of rimer to rhyme < Gallo-Romance *rimāre to put in a row ≪ Old High German rīm series, row; probably not connected with Latin rhythmus rhythm, although current spelling (from c1600) apparently by association with this word
Related forms
rhymer, noun
interrhyme, verb (used without object), interrhymed, interrhyming.
misrhymed, adjective
nonrhyme, noun
nonrhymed, adjective
nonrhyming, adjective
outrhyme, verb (used with object), outrhymed, outrhyming.
unrhyme, verb (used with object), unrhymed, unrhyming.
well-rhymed, adjective
Can be confused
rhyme, rhythm. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rhyme
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One of these was "Ole Chariot," perhaps as a rhyme to the name by which they called her.

  • Well, since rhyming's been my ruin, let me rhyme to the bitter end.

    Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service
  • He confessed to me that he was apt to go astray when intent on rhyme.

    Biographical Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • It was ridiculous, the amount of time she gave to that baby—out of all rhyme and reason.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • You should get your gowns to rhyme with your husband's suits.

British Dictionary definitions for rhyme


identity of the terminal sounds in lines of verse or in words
a word that is identical to another in its terminal sound: ``while'' is a rhyme for ``mile''
a verse or piece of poetry having corresponding sounds at the ends of the lines: the boy made up a rhyme about his teacher
any verse or piece of poetry
rhyme or reason, sense, logic, or meaning: this proposal has no rhyme or reason
to use (a word) or (of a word) to be used so as to form a rhyme; be or make identical in sound
to render (a subject) into rhyme
to compose (verse) in a metrical structure
Derived Forms
rhymeless, rimeless, adjective
Word Origin
C12: from Old French rime, from rimer to rhyme, from Old High German rīm a number; spelling influenced by rhythm
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
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Word Origin and History for rhyme

"agreement in terminal sounds," 1560s, partially restored spelling, from Middle English ryme, rime (c.1200) "measure, meter, rhythm," later "rhymed verse" (mid-13c.), from Old French rime (fem.), related to Old Provençal rim (masc.), earlier *ritme, from Latin rithmus, from Greek rhythmos "measured motion, time, proportion" (see rhythm).

In Medieval Latin, rithmus was used for accentual, as opposed to quantitative, verse, and accentual verse usually was rhymed, hence the sense shift. Persistence of older form is due to popular association with Old English rim "number," from PIE root *re(i)- "to reason, count" (see read (v.)). Phrase rhyme or reason "good sense" (chiefly used in the negative) is from late 15c. (see reason (n.)). Rhyme scheme is attested from 1931. Rhyme royal (1841) is a stanza of seven 10-syllable lines rhymed a-b-a-b-b-c-c.


"make verses, make rhymes," c.1300, rimen, from Old French rimer, from rime "verse" (see rhyme (n.)). Attested 1670s (of words) in sense "to have the same end sound." Modern spelling is from 1650s, by influence of rhythm. Related: Rhymed; rhyming. The phrase rhyming slang is attested from 1859.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rhyme in Culture

rhyme definition

A similarity of sound between words, such as moon, spoon, croon, tune, and June. Rhyme is often employed in verse.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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