A rhyme or rime is the association of words with similar sounds, a technique most often used in poetry. (Indeed, "a rhyme" is sometimes used to refer to a rhyming couplet or short verse; see nursery rhyme.) The term has also been applied (as "sight rhyme") to words which are similar only in their written forms.
The concept of rhyme and its role in poetry vary considerably in different cultures. In English, and most European literary traditions, it is the final vowel/consonant combination that are repeated across the rhyming words. Categories of rhyme include:
masculine: stress on final syllable of word. Eg "rhyme", "sublime", "crime"
feminine: stress on penultimate syllable of word. Eg "wiki", "tricky", "sticky"
triple: all three of a three-syllable word stressed equally
perfect: identical in sound
oblique (or slant): imperfect match in sound
consonance: consonant match. For example: her, dark,
sight (or eye): similarity in spelling although not sound. Eg "cough", "bough"
imperfect: rhyming a stressed and an unstressed syllable. Eg "den" and "siren"
Rhyming words are commonly found at the ends of lines. When words within a single line are rhymed, it is called an internal rhyme.
Rhyme was unknown in Latin poetry, until it was introduced under the influence of local vernacular traditions in the early Middle Ages:
''Dies irae, dies illa
''Solvet saeclum in favilla
Teste David cum Sybilla
In English, elaborate rhymes of more than two syllables are termed macaronic and have a comic effect. No English words rhyme with month, orange, silver, or purple.
In French, the rime riche "rich rhyme" of two syllables — and rime richissime "very rich rhyme" of more syllables — have been admired in the past. Here is an extreme example of rime richissime, spanning an entire verse:
Gall, amant de la Reine, alla (tour magnanime)
Gallamant de l'Arène à la Tour Magne, à Nimes.
Gallus, lover of the Queen, went (magnanimous gesture)
Gallantly from the Arena to the Great Tower, at Nimes.