rhyme

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

rhyme

rhyme or rime, the most prominent of the literary artifices used in versification. Although it was used in ancient East Asian poetry, rhyme was practically unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans. With the decline of the classical quantitative meters and the substitution of accentual meters, rhyme began to develop, especially in the sacred Latin poetry of the early Christian church. In the Middle Ages, end rhyme (rhyme at the end of a line), assonance (repetition of related vowel sounds), and alliteration (repetition of consonants, particularly at the beginning of words) were predominant in vernacular verse. After 1300 rhyme came to be the outstanding metrical mark of poetry until the introduction of blank verse in the 16th cent. Alliteration and assonance were both called rhyme by early writers, but today two words are said to rhyme only when the sound of the final accented syllable of one word (placed usually at the end of a line of verse) agrees with the final accented syllable of another word so placed. When the vowels in the final accented syllables of the two rhyming words and the consonants (if any) succeeding the vowel have exactly the same sound, it is called perfect rhyme, e.g., shroud and cloud,mark and bark. Many poets, however, particularly 20th-century poets, use imperfect or approximate rhymes, in which the rhymed vowels and even the consonants might be similar but not identical, e.g., groaned and ground. Two words cannot rhyme unless both are accented on the same syllable. When rhymes are of one syllable or end in a consonant with no mute e following, as sad and bad, they are said to be a single or masculine rhyme. This type predominates in English verse because of the great number of monosyllabic words in the language. When rhymes are of two syllables or, more properly, when they are not accented on the last syllable or end in a final mute e (able and cable), they are said to be weak endings, or double, or feminine, rhymes. Feminine rhyme predominates in Spanish and Italian poetry, while German and French use masculine and feminine rhyme equally. Triple rhymes, or three-syllable rhymes, as cheerily and wearily, are less common, especially in serious verse. Rhymes of more than three syllables are rare. Some rhymes, as wind (noun) and kind, are called eye-rhymes (words which are spelled alike but not pronounced alike) and have come into general use through "poetic license." Occasionally the initial words in a line may rhyme; more often there may be a rhyme within the line. Rhymes when used in a set pattern combine with other metrical elements to form such verse structures as the sonnet, the Spenserian stanza, and the heroic couplet.

See rhyming dictionaries in English (which include discussions of versification) by J. Walker (1775; revised and reprinted frequently), B. Johnson (1931), and C. Wood (1943; 1947); studies by H. Lanz (1968) and E. Guggenheimer (1972).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

rhyme
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.