Rhyme

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Rhyme is one of the most important aspects of the traditional forms of English poetry. Indeed, the first poems that native speakers hear are usually nursery rhymes -- poems recited to children who are learning to speak. More precisely, rhyme is the phenomenon , usually at the ends of the lines of poetry, where words that sound similar are used deliberately to echo each other, in a kind of verbal music.

OED says: "3. Pros. Agreement in the terminal sounds of two or more words or metrical lines, such that (in English prosody) the last stressed vowel and any sounds following it are the same, while the sound or sounds preceding are different. Examples: which, rich; grew, too; peace, increase; leather, together; descended, extended. The consonance may extend over more than one word, as blow not, grow not. For the various kinds, see Feminine (or 'female) rhyme; Masculine (or 'male') rhyme; rich, and tailed. Single, double, and triple (or treble) rhymes are those involving one, two, and three syllables respectively Imperfect rimes [sic] are tolerated to a large extent in English, e.g. phase, race; did, seed; among these are such as rime only to the eye, as loved, proved; death, heath. The term is sometimes extended to include assonance and even alliteration (initial or head rime)."

Consider the example of a nursery rhyme (like many of these, it does not make much sense);

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Here the last rhyme, 'men' and 'again', doesn't look like a rhyme - and for some speakers does not even sound like one (depending on how they pronounce 'again'). But each pair of lines above is meant to be a rhyme. It is this, together with the rhythm, that makes these four lines a nursery rhyme.

For a note on spelling, see rime - rhyme (in older works (as in the quotation from the OED above, taken from an old edition), rhyme is sometimes spelled 'rime'); and for some etymological information, see Rhyme - rhythm .

This is one of the 117 mis-spellings listed as 'Common difficulties' in the section on 'Spelling' within 'Writing' in UEfAP.

. If you have difficulty with rhyme, you may want to consider the older spelling rime, but you are much better advised to LEARN the current standard.