eye rhyme

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Origin of eye rhyme

First recorded in 1870–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is an eye rhyme?

An eye rhyme involves the use of words that look like they should rhyme—based on their endings being spelled the same—but that don’t actually rhyme, as in move and love or pour and sour.

An eye rhyme is also called a sight rhyme.

The typical sense of the word rhyme refers to an instance in which the endings of two or more words rhyme—meaning they sound exactly the same, as in right and sight. However, the endings of such words don’t need to be spelled the same in order to rhyme: right also rhymes with site.

An eye rhyme, though, always involves the ending of the word being spelled in the same way and not sounding the same.

Just like regular rhymes, eye rhymes are used in poetry and other forms of literature. Using an eye rhyme is another artistic way to make connections between words. For example, it can be used in verse to create an unexpected effect at the end of a line that looks like it’s going to rhyme but actually doesn’t:

Expecting a rhyme, you start to read,
But the next line just hurts your head. 

Example: Her use of eye rhymes throughout her poetry has a particularly effective disorienting effect.

Where does eye rhyme come from?

The first records of eye rhyme come from around 1800. Its synonym, sight rhyme, is first recorded later, around the 1930s.

In both his poetry and his plays, Shakespeare rhymed words like move and love and moving and loving. We read these as eye rhymes, since the o creates different vowel sounds in both pairs of words. Due to the variability of vowel sounds in English, there are many examples of eye rhymes, such as cough and bough, alone and gone, and hearth and earth.

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What are some synonyms for eye rhyme?

What are some words that share a root or word element with eye rhyme

What are some words that often get used in discussing eye rhyme?

How is eye rhyme used in real life?

The term eye rhyme is typically used in the context of poetry analysis.



Try using eye rhyme!

True or False?

The words laughter and daughter produce an eye rhyme.

How to use eye rhyme in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for eye rhyme

eye rhyme

a rhyme involving words that are similar in spelling but not in sound, such as stone and none
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