sight rhyme


noun Prosody.

agreement in spelling, but not in sound, of the ends of words or of lines of verse, as in have, grave.

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Also called eye rhyme.

Origin of sight rhyme

First recorded in 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What is a sight rhyme?

A sight 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.

A sight rhyme is also called an eye 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.

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

Just like regular rhymes, sight rhymes are used in poetry and other forms of literature. Using a sight 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 sight rhymes throughout her poetry has a particularly effective disorienting effect.

Where does sight rhyme come from?

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

In both his poetry and his plays, Shakespeare rhymed words like move and love and moving and loving. We read these as sight 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 sight rhymes, such as cough and bough, alone and gone, and hearth and earth.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for sight rhyme?

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

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

How is sight rhyme used in real life?

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

 

 

Try using sight rhyme!

True or False?

The words laughter and daughter produce a sight rhyme.