Rhyme (Word Definition and History)

Rhyme Definition:
  • Rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in 2 or more words.
  • This method is most often used in poetry & songs.
  • A rhyme in the strict sense is also known as a perfect rhyme - i.e. deign & gain, madness & sadness, sight & flight.
Other Uses:
  • "Rhyme" can also be used to refer to a short poem, such as a rhyming couplet or other brief rhyming poem such as nursery rhyme (see image).
Other Terms:
  • Rhyming
  • Rhyming Couplet
  • Rhyming Dictionary
  • Rhyming Pattern
  • Rhyming Poem
  • Rhyming Slang
  • Rhyming Text
Rhyme Senses:
  • Rhyme can be used in a specific & also a general sense.
  • Specific sense:
    • 2 words rhyme if their final stressed vowel and all following sounds are identical.
    • 2 lines of poetry rhyme if their final strong positions are filled with rhyming words.
Perfect Rhymes:
  • Classified according to the number of syllables included in the rhyme.
  • Dactylic: a rhyme in which the stress is on the antepenultimate (third from last) syllable - cacophonies, Aristophanes)
  • Feminine - a rhyme in which the stress is on the penultimate (second from last) syllable of the words. (picky, tricky)
  • Masculine - a rhyme in which the stress is on the final syllable of the words. (rhyme, sublime)
General Rhymes:
  • Refers to various kinds of phonetic similarity between words, & to their use in organizing verse.
  • Classified according to phonetic similarity.
  • Alliteration (or head rhyme) - matching initial consonants (sham, shell).
  • Assonance - matching vowels (make, plate).
  • Consonance - matching consonants (bats, bits).
  • Half rhyme (or sprung rhyme) - matching final consonants (spot, tot).
  • Imperfect - rhyme between a stressed & an unstressed syllable (sing, daring).
  • Oblique (slant/forced) - a rhyme with an imperfect match in sound (screen, fiend; bun, thumb).
  • Semirhyme - a rhyme with an extra syllable on one word. (mend, ending).
  • Syllabic - a rhyme in which the last syllable of each word sounds the same but does not necessarily contain vowels (pitter, patter or beaver, revolver).
Rhyme History:
  • Rime - derived from Old Frankish language rīm.
  • Old English rīm - "enumeration, series, numeral".
  • Old High German rīm.
  • Old Irish rím.
  • Greek ἀριθμός arithmos "number".
  • The spelling rhyme comes from beginning of Modern English period, due to the association with Greek ῥυθμός (rhythmos).
Image Credit - by zen (cc)

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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