Rhyme - Examples and Definition of Rhyme as a Literary Device (2022) (2022)

Definition of Rhyme

Rhyme is a literary device, featured particularly in poetry, in which identical or similar concluding syllables in different words are repeated. Rhyme most often occurs at the ends of poetic lines. In addition, rhyme is principally a function of sound rather than spelling. For example, words rhyme that end with the same vowel sound but have different spellings: day, prey, weigh, bouquet. This is true for words with the same consonant ending as well: vain, rein, lane. Rhyme is therefore predominantly independent of the way words look or are spelled. Writers use rhymes as a way to create sound patterns in order to emphasize certain words and their relationships with others in an artistic manner.

An example of the emphasis of rhyme as a function of the sounds or pronunciations of words is the poem “Going to Extremes” by Richard Armour:

Shake and shake
The catsup bottle
None’ll come–
And then a lot’ll.

Rhyme in this case provides an overall structure for Armour’s poem. By rhyming “bottle” with “lot’ll,” the poet achieves an effect that is satisfying and fulfilling for the reader, both in the poem’s form and content.

Common Examples of Rhyme Forms

There are many types of rhyme, particularly in poetry. Here are some common examples of rhyme forms:

  • Perfect Rhyme: This rhyme form features two words that share the exact assonance and number of syllables, and is also known as a true rhyme. (skylight and twilight)
  • Slant Rhymes: This rhyme form features words with similar but not exact assonance and/or a number of syllables. This is also known as half rhyme or imperfect rhyme. (grieve andbelieve)
  • Eye Rhymes: This rhyme form features two words that appear similar when read, but do not actually rhyme when spoken or pronounced. (Moodandhood;moveanddove)
  • Masculine Rhyme: This rhyming form takes place between the final stressed syllables of two lines. (compare andrepair)
  • Feminine Rhyme: This rhyming form features multi-syllables in which stressed and unstressed syllables rhyme with each other, respectively. (lazy andcrazy)
  • End Rhymes: These are rhymes that occur between the final words of two consecutive lines of poetry or non-consecutive lines following a rhyme scheme in a stanza.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forest of theNight.

Examples of Rhymes in Nursery Tales

Mother Goose and other nursery tales feature rhyme as a foundation for language acquisition, reading, and listening comprehension for children. In addition to enhancing speech and literacy skills, these rhyming poems and tales generate interest and appreciation for artistic use of language. Here are some examples of rhymes in nursery tales:

  • Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet
  • Hickory Dickory Dock; the mouse ran up the clock
  • Little Jack Horner sat in a corner
  • Sugar and spice and everything nice
  • Jack Sprat could eat no fat
  • It’s raining, it’s pouring; the old man is snoring
  • hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle
  • Jack and Jill went up the hill
  • Peter Peter, pumpkin eater
  • Rain, rain go away; come again another day
  • little bo peep has lost her sheep
  • Miss Polly had a dolly
  • Old King Cole was a merry old soul
  • Simple Simon met a pieman
  • Three little kittens have lost their mittens

Famous Examples of Rhymes in Common Phrases

When people use rhyming words in everyday speech, the purpose is generally to appeal to a sense of rhythm in language and use rhyming sounds to create memorable expressions. Here are some famous examples of rhymes in common phrases:

  • See you later, alligator
  • Too cool for school
  • Make or break
  • Shop ’til you drop
  • Meet and greet
  • Nearest and dearest
  • Fender bender
  • Blame game
  • Hustle and bustle
  • Handy dandy
  • Study buddy
  • Sky high
  • True blue
  • Boy toy
  • Double trouble

Writing Rhymes

In writing, rhyme is most closely associated with poetry. This literary art form is considered quite difficult to master, and although not every poem features rhyming words or patterns, rhyme is an important literary device for poets. To develop rhyme as a writing skill, there are helpful strategies to use:

  • Utilize rhyme scheme: Rhyme scheme is the ordered pattern of rhymes at the ends of lines of a poem. This order can be helpful for writers to understand rhyme and its effect. Some simple rhyme schemes to rely on for beginning writers are ABAB or ABCB. These letters indicate where the rhymes take place at the end of the lines. In ABAB, the first and third lines rhyme at the end, as do the second and fourth lines. In ABCB, just the second and fourth lines rhyme at the end.
  • Explore different poetic forms: Another strategy for writers to develop a rhyming technique is to explore different forms of poetry with specific types of rhyme and rhyme schemes. These might include sonnets, limericks, and even ballads.
  • Explore different types and forms of rhyme: Writers can explore different types and forms of rhyme instead of being limited to end rhymes in poetry.

How Are Rhymes Classified?

The classification of rhymes is based on the similarity of syllables in words. This occurrence of syllables divides the rhymes into different categories such as;

  1. Eye Rhyme: Such rhyme rhymes only when they are spelled and not when spoken. These are also called visual rhymes or sight rhymes as two words have similar spellings but different sounds such as Shean Bean and Wind/Mind.
  2. End Rhyme: This rhyme occurs at the end and only rhymes with the final syllable such as stair and prayer in a poem.
  3. Feminine Rhyme: This rhyme is of unstressed syllables whether it is one or more such as enticing or dicing.
  4. Half Rhyme: It applies to the end consonant syllables such as toll and tell. It is also called slant rhyme or off-rhyme.
  5. Identical Rhyme: It means both rhyming words have the same sound and sense.
  6. Internal Rhyme: It is used in a single verse in which two words rhyme with each other.
  7. Masculine Rhyme: It means to use stressed rhyming syllables at the end such as hells and bells and tells.
  8. Monorhyme: It means to use rhyme in a single stanza.

Do Poems Have to Rhyme?

The above question is often raised whether a poem must rhyme or not. Although in classical poetry, it is necessary that there should be a proper rhyme scheme due to the oral requirements of those times. It is, however, not a requirement in modern poetry. In modern poetry, poetic diction does not need a rhyme scheme. Even free verse could do the job.

Examples of Rhyme in Literature

Poetry is considered the artistic use of human language as a means of showcasing the aesthetic quality of words as equal or greater in value to their meaning and semantic content. Rhymes enhance this literary art form through repetition of sounds and formation of creative word patterns. As a literary device, rhyme elevates the reader’s experience and understanding of literature through its effect on the musical quality and impact of language.

Here are some examples of rhyme in literature and the way it enhances the value of poetry:

Example 1:Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

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Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

In these stanzas of Angelou’s poem, she demonstrates the power of artistic language for the reader by utilizing almost consistent perfect rhymes as a literary device with the ABCB rhyme scheme. The effect of this is magnified in the poem by the way each stanza directly addresses or questions the reader. The end rhymes for these stanzas are impactful for several reasons. For example, the rhymes render the questions directed at the reader as rhetorical, for dramatic effect rather than seeking a legitimate response.

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In addition, Angelou effectively uses rhyme as a literary device for the poet to take ownership of her thoughts, attitude, body, and response to those who are prejudiced with hate against her. Therefore, regardless of how the reader feels about the poet as a black woman, the repetition of sound and word patterns in the poem reveals and enhances the poet’s relationship with herself rather than those outside the poem. This empowers the poet, leaving an impression on the reader that whatever violence, hate, or prejudice is brought to the poem, the poet rises above with her words.

Example 2:“Hope” is the thing with feathersby Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the Thing with Feathers

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –

And sore must be the storm –

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

In this poem, Dickinson adopts the rhyme scheme of ABCB in the first stanza, ABAB in the second stanza, and ABBB in the final stanza. The rhymes of the end lines are not perfect in the poem. However, Dickinson’s use of rhyme as a literary device enhances the meaning of the poem as a whole.

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For example, when the poet rhymes “heard” and “Bird,” the sound of the words echoes the symbol of hope as a bird that perpetually sings in the soul. In addition, the rhymes “Sea” and “me” create an image of vastness, both within and without the poet. This imagery creates a sense of fragility for hope as a little bird, and for the poet as well in attempting to explain hope through poetry.

Example 3:The Passionate Shepherd to His Love by Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,

And we will all the pleasures prove,

That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,

Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the Rocks,

Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks,

By shallow Rivers to whose falls

Melodious birds sing Madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of Roses

And a thousand fragrant posies,

A cap of flowers, and a kirtle

Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle;

In this poem, Marlowe utilizes several rhyme forms including slant, eye, and perfect rhymes. The poem’s AABB rhyming scheme with end rhymes lends a musical quality to the piece as if the shepherd is serenading his love in each stanza. Marlowe invokes many conventions in his poem that are associated with love poetry, such as a pastoral setting with rivers and singing birds. In addition, the poet incorporates symbols of love through flowers, such as roses, posies, and myrtle. Though Marlowe’s poem does not feature perfect rhymes in each of the end lines, his use of rhyme as a literary device brings attention to the musicality, romance, and typical symbols featured in love poetry.

Synonyms of Rhyme

Rhyme does not have a similar word that could be used as a replacement, some related words are verse, ditty, limerick, jingle, verse composition, verse, rhyming, and metrical composition. It is to be kept in mind that all these words are distinct literary devices and cannot be used interchangeably for rhyme.

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FAQs

What is rhyme as a literary device? ›

rhyme, also spelled rime, the correspondence of two or more words with similar-sounding final syllables placed so as to echo one another. Rhyme is used by poets and occasionally by prose writers to produce sounds appealing to the reader's senses and to unify and establish a poem's stanzaic form.

What are the 5 examples of rhyme? ›

What is an example of rhyme in literature? ›

Classifying Rhymes by Their Placement Within Lines

An example would be, "Roses are red, violets are blue, / Sugar is sweet, and so are you." Internal rhymes are rhyming words that do not occur at the ends of lines.

What are the 3 types of rhyme? ›

What Are the Different Types of Rhyming Poems?
  • Perfect rhyme. A rhyme where both words share the exact assonance and number of syllables. ...
  • Slant rhyme. A rhyme formed by words with similar, but not identical, assonance and/or the number of syllables. ...
  • Eye rhyme. ...
  • Masculine rhyme. ...
  • Feminine rhyme. ...
  • End rhymes.
Aug 16, 2021

Which is the best definition of rhyme? ›

noun. identity in sound of some part, especially the end, of words or lines of verse. a word agreeing with another in terminal sound: Find is a rhyme for mind and womankind. verse or poetry having correspondence in the terminal sounds of the lines. a poem or piece of verse having such correspondence.

What defines a rhyming word? ›

A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds (usually, the exact same phonemes) in the final stressed syllables and any following syllables of two or more words.

What are the 10 rhyming words? ›

Words that Rhyme in English
  • Cat – Sat – Bat.
  • Ball – Fall – Tall.
  • Right – Kite – Height.
  • Owl – Towel – Growl.
  • Bore – Four – Roar.
  • Rock – Chalk – Hawk.
  • One – Gun – Won.
  • Face – Place – Race.
May 24, 2019

What is a good sentence for rhyme? ›

(9) I love his use of rhyme and rhythm. (10) He was teaching Helen a little rhyme. (11) This poem is her first attempt at rhyme. (12) You can't rhyme "sleep"with "feet".

What are rhyming sentences? ›

In poetry, a couplet is a pair of lines in a verse. Typically, they rhyme and have the same meter or rhythm. They make up a unit or complete thought.

What is a full rhyme in a poem? ›

1. ( Poetry) Also called: full rhyme rhyme between words in which the stressed vowels and any succeeding consonants are identical although the consonants preceding the stressed vowels may be different, as between part/hart or believe/conceive.

What is rhyme and its types? ›

There are many different types of rhymes that poets use in their work: internal rhymes, slant rhymes, eye rhymes, identical rhymes, and more. One of the most common ways to write a rhyming poem is to use a rhyme scheme composed of shared vowel sounds or consonants.

What is an example of an internal rhyme? ›

Some poems with internal rhymes feature two or more rhyming words within the same line. I went to town to buy a gown. / I took the car, and it wasn't far. I had a cat who wore a hat. / He looked cool but felt the fool. I lost my dog in the midst of fog. / He found his way home, he doesn't like to roam.

What is the most common rhyme? ›

Only one pair of words in the top 100 most common rhymes is more than one syllable: forever/together.

How many rhymes are there? ›

Conclusion. Running this code on the words in the cmudict got me 10,762 rhyme groups. So barring any other edgecases that's the number of rhymes in English.

Is a rhyme a poem? ›

Rhyme is a kind of poem, and it is just a part of the larger genre of poetry. A poem may by rhyming or not but a rhyme is known for the use of similar sounding words at the end of alternate lines.

What rhymes with happy? ›

WordRhyme rating
unhappy100
snappy100
pappy100
nappy100
96 more rows

What are 20 words that rhyme with? ›

WordRhyme ratingCategories
plenty100Noun
aplenty100Adverb
Vicente100Name
meant he100Phrase
96 more rows

What words form an eye rhyme in a girl in love? ›

An eye 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. An eye rhyme is also called a sight rhyme.

What is an example of a end rhyme? ›

End rhyme refers to rhymes that occur in the final words of lines of poetry. For instance, these lines from Dorothy Parker's poem "Interview" use end rhyme: "The ladies men admire, I've heard, / Would shudder at a wicked word."

What words rhymes with best? ›

WordRhyme rating
crest100
digest100
compressed100
oppressed100
96 more rows

What is perfect rhyme in poetry? ›

A perfect rhyme—also sometimes referred to as a true rhyme, exact rhyme, or full rhyme—is a type of rhyme in which the stressed vowel sounds in both words are identical, as are any sounds thereafter.

How do you know if a word rhymes? ›

If two words sound the same or have the same ending sound, they rhyme. To figure out if two or more words rhyme, use your ears to listen to the words as you say them. For example: when we say car, bar, far, we hear that the 'ar' is the same sound to our ears, so these words rhyme.

What are the 2 types of rhyme? ›

Types of Rhyme
  • End Rhymes. Rhyming of the final words of lines in a poem. ...
  • Internal Rhymes. Rhyming of two words within the same line of poetry. ...
  • Slant Rhymes (sometimes called imperfect, partial, near, oblique, off etc.) ...
  • Rich Rhymes. ...
  • Eye Rhymes. ...
  • Identical Rhymes.

What is internal rhyme in The Raven? ›

An internal rhyme is when a word from inside the line (usually around halfway through) rhymes with the word at the end of the line. While I nodded, nearly napping , suddenly there came a tapping , As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Only this and nothing more.”

What are some names that rhyme? ›

Rhyming Names
  • Abby (Abigail), Gabby (Gabrielle)
  • Addison, Madison.
  • Amanda, Miranda.
  • Annabella, Isabella.
  • Arianna, Brianna.
  • Bernice, Denise.
  • Chloe, Zoe.
  • Gabriella, Isabella.
Oct 19, 2021

What is an end of rhyme? ›

Definition of End Rhyme

End rhyme is defined as “when a poem has lines ending with words that sound the same.” End rhyme is also called tail rhyme or terminal rhyme. It is one of many types of rhyme.

Can a word rhyme with itself? ›

No, a word doesn't rhyme with itself. Both are the same word, so therefore it's just repetitive. You only think it rhymes because you hear the exact same sound.

Why is a rhyme written? ›

The Importance of Rhyme

Rhyme, along with meter, helps make a poem musical. In traditional poetry, a regular rhyme aids the memory for recitation and gives predictable pleasure. A pattern of rhyme, called a scheme, also helps establish the form.

Is rhyme a figure of speech? ›

Answer and Explanation: Rhyme is not a figure of speech. It is considered a literary device. Figures of speech are words or phrases which have a figurative rather than a literal meaning.

Is rhyme a figurative language? ›

Rhyme is not figurative language. Rhyme is one aspect of language, usually used in poetry, but it involves the sounds of words and has nothing to do with meanings of words. There are two types of rhymes. The first is called a perfect rhyme in which two words have the exact same sound at their endings.

Is rhyme a sound device? ›

Sound devices are elements of literature and poetry that emphasize sound. There are a few different types of sound devices including alliteration, rhyme schemes and rhythm.

What is rhyme and its types? ›

There are many different types of rhymes that poets use in their work: internal rhymes, slant rhymes, eye rhymes, identical rhymes, and more. One of the most common ways to write a rhyming poem is to use a rhyme scheme composed of shared vowel sounds or consonants.

What are rhymes in English language? ›

Definition of Rhyme

Rhyme is a popular literary device in which the repetition of the same or similar sounds occurs in two or more words, usually at the end of lines in poems or songs. In a rhyme in English, the vowel sounds in the stressed syllables are matching, while the preceding consonant sound does not match.

What is the function of rhyme? ›

The function of rhyme in poetry is to establish structure while creating a pleasant or even beautiful symmetry among a poem's verses. In the ages before the written word, rhyme also assisted with memorization, a role it still performs today.

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