or rime



verb (used with object), rhymed, rhym·ing.

verb (used without object), rhymed, rhym·ing.


    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 formsrhym·er, nounin·ter·rhyme, verb (used without object), in·ter·rhymed, in·ter·rhym·ing.mis·rhymed, adjectivenon·rhyme, nounnon·rhymed, adjectivenon·rhym·ing, adjectiveout·rhyme, verb (used with object), out·rhymed, out·rhym·ing.un·rhyme, verb (used with object), un·rhymed, un·rhym·ing.well-rhymed, adjective
Can be confusedrhyme rhythm
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rhyme

Contemporary Examples of rhyme

Historical Examples of rhyme

  • 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.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • You should get your gowns to rhyme with your husband's suits.

British Dictionary definitions for rhyme


archaic rime


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 linesthe boy made up a rhyme about his teacher
any verse or piece of poetry
rhyme or reason sense, logic, or meaningthis 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 Formsrhymeless or rimeless, adjective

Word Origin for rhyme

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

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

Culture definitions for rhyme


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.