- movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like.
- the pattern of regular or irregular pulses caused in music by the occurrence of strong and weak melodic and harmonic beats.
- a particular form of this: duple rhythm; triple rhythm.
- measured movement, as in dancing.
- Art, Literature. a patterned repetition of a motif, formal element, etc., at regular or irregular intervals in the same or a modified form.
- the effect produced in a play, film, novel, etc., by the combination or arrangement of formal elements, as length of scenes, speech and description, timing, or recurrent themes, to create movement, tension, and emotional value in the development of the plot.
- metrical or rhythmical form; meter; cadence.
- a particular kind of metrical form.
- metrical movement.
- the pattern of recurrent strong and weak accents, vocalization and silence, and the distribution and combination of these elements in speech.
- Physiology. the regular recurrence of an action or function, as of the beat of the heart, or the menstrual cycle.
- procedure marked by the regular recurrence of particular elements, phases, etc.: the rhythm of the seasons.
- regular recurrence of elements in a system of motion.
Origin of rhythm
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rhythms
Jim Campbell: Rhythms of Perception is on display at the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria until June 15.Art Goes High-Tech at These Four Innovative Exhibits
May 29, 2014
The most distinctive thing about Reflektor is the sound of it—the production, the arrangements, the rhythms.‘Reflektor’ Makes Arcade Fire the Biggest Band in the World
October 29, 2013
He is reserved when saying this, his Brooklyn accent influenced by the rhythms of the Caribbean of St. Vincent.The Marine and His Cousin the Firefighter
Maurice Emerson Decaul
September 11, 2013
And then you have to find all the rhythms to get the juice out of it.Alec Baldwin & Robert Carlock On How They Made '30 Rock' So Funny
Alec Baldwin, Robert Carlock
February 1, 2013
For me, the big thing was I had to unhear the rhythms in my head of the way everybody else had done it.The Damsels in ‘Damsels in Distress’ Discuss the Film, Director Whit Stillman, and Women in Films
April 5, 2012
To do this in poetry is the supreme distinction not of rhythms, but of words.The Lyric
To say what these rhythms are will be your duty—you must teach me them, as you have already taught me the harmonies.The Republic
But this cataract of dried leaves, too, is a study in the rhythms of the dead.The Book of the Damned
But since life has got two rhythms, why should art have only one?Laurus Nobilis
Among the other 2-4 rhythms are the Polka, suitable for Ballet work.The Art of Stage Dancing
- the arrangement of the relative durations of and accents on the notes of a melody, usually laid out into regular groups (bars) of beats, the first beat of each bar carrying the stress
- any specific arrangement of such groupings; timequadruple rhythm
- (in poetry)
- the arrangement of words into a more or less regular sequence of stressed and unstressed or long and short syllables
- any specific such arrangement; metre
- (in painting, sculpture, architecture, etc) a harmonious sequence or pattern of masses alternating with voids, of light alternating with shade, of alternating colours, etc
- any sequence of regularly recurring functions or events, such as the regular recurrence of certain physiological functions of the body, as the cardiac rhythm of the heartbeat
Word Origin and History for rhythms
1550s, "rhymed verse, metrical movement," from Latin rhythmus "movement in time," from Greek rhythmos "measured flow or movement, rhythm; proportion, symmetry; arrangement, order; form, shape, wise, manner; soul, disposition," related to rhein "to flow," from PIE root *sreu- "to flow" (see rheum). Rhythm method of birth control attested from 1936. Rhythm and blues, U.S. music style, is from 1949 (first in "Billboard").
- Movement or variation characterized by the regular recurrence or alternation of different quantities or conditions, as in the heartbeat.