Definition of rhythm in English:


Syllabification: rhythm
Pronunciation: /ˈriT͟Həm


  • 1A strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound: Ruth listened to the rhythm of his breathing
    More example sentences
    • It took him awhile to get back to sleep, but finally he did, and I watched him, listening to the strong rhythm of his heart.
    • Their sneakers pounded out a staccato rhythm at a pace so fast that ‘Lord of the Dance’'s Michael Flatley would be envious.
    • On TV medical dramas, the clichéd sighs of relief come when the patient's heartbeat settles into a strong, regular rhythm.
  • 1.1The systematic arrangement of musical sounds, principally according to duration and periodic stress.
    More example sentences
    • Later, students would be asked to layer the three components of rhythm: the small beat, large beat and melodic rhythm of the piece.
    • This arrangement presents few problems in technique, tessitura, rhythm, ensemble or endurance.
    • He juggles multiple systems of rhythm, melody, structure and timbre.
  • 1.2A particular type of pattern formed by rhythm: guitar melodies with deep African rhythms
    More example sentences
    • Whether it's in the form of romantic melody, upbeat Swing Jazz or exotic world rhythms, the live musical experience adds a unique presence and excitement to any event.
    • Unstintingly melodic, he wrote in long, arching lines that contradicted the jagged, urban rhythms of Copland and Bernstein, his close contemporaries.
    • Deneff exploits rock idioms, such as rapidly repeated chords, ostinato bass lines and syncopated rhythms, but with little variation of content.
  • 1.3A person’s natural feeling for rhythm: they’ve got no rhythm
    More example sentences
    • As for activity on the dance floor, Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa proved that not all Brazilians have a natural sense of rhythm.
    • While a natural sense of rhythm helps, most folks can learn the steps and become familiar through practice, he says.
    • Too few dancers seem to me to have even a decent sense of rhythm, let alone demonstrate musical understanding.
  • 1.4The measured flow of words and phrases in verse or prose as determined by the relation of long and short or stressed and unstressed syllables.
    More example sentences
    • He experimented constantly with rhythms and stresses and verse forms, disliking and avoiding any facile flow.
    • The verse rhythm should have its effect upon the hearers without their being conscious of it.
    • Traditional poetry, with its innate rhythm and alliteration, as well as free verse focusing on social issues, flowed from her pen.
    meter, measure, stress, accent, cadence
  • 1.5A regularly recurring sequence of events, actions, or processes: the twice daily rhythms of the tides
    More example sentences
    • The existence of daily rhythms in the regulation of many body processes has been well documented in the last 50 years.
    • For over three centuries we have been attempting to separate our selves from the organic processes and rhythms of the natural world.
    • Such internal clocks are known as circadian clocks, which are tuned to biological rhythms that recur on a daily basis.
  • 1.6 Art A harmonious sequence or correlation of colors or elements.
    More example sentences
    • Their easy, rolling rhythms and rich colouring influenced many other Canadian landscape painters.
    • The patterns, viewable from the Price Tower as a roof facade, contrast with the angular, syncopated rhythms of Wright's design.
    • Pollock's solution was to study and copy the compositions of the old masters so intently that he internalized their rhythms.



More example sentences
  • The music is stark and odd, composed largely of out-of-tune singing, rhythmless guitar plucking, and merciless assaults on a piano.
  • But this sort of abstract use of hooks in the context of beat-heavy but rhythmless compositions somehow comes together in a really viscerally graspable way.
  • She paused long enough to let the change of direction take effect, then resumed the rapid, rhythmless speech.


mid 16th century (also originally in the sense 'rhyme'): from French rhythme, or via Latin from Greek rhuthmos (related to rhein 'to flow').

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a small amount; a little