• synonyms


[pol-ee-rith-uh m]
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noun Music.
  1. the simultaneous occurrence of sharply contrasting rhythms within a composition.
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Origin of polyrhythm

First recorded in 1925–30; poly- + rhythm
Related formspol·y·rhyth·mic, adjectivepol·y·rhyth·mi·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for polyrhythm


  1. music a style of composition in which each part exhibits different rhythms
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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 polyrhythm


1911, probably a back formation from polyrhythmic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper