noun \ˈri-thəm\

: a regular, repeated pattern of sounds or movements

: a regular, repeated pattern of events, changes, activities, etc.

Full Definition of RHYTHM

a :  an ordered recurrent alternation of strong and weak elements in the flow of sound and silence in speech
b :  a particular example or form of rhythm <iambic rhythm>
a :  the aspect of music comprising all the elements (as accent, meter, and tempo) that relate to forward movement
b :  a characteristic rhythmic pattern <rumba rhythm>; also :  1meter 2
c :  the group of instruments in a band supplying the rhythm —called also rhythm section
a :  movement, fluctuation, or variation marked by the regular recurrence or natural flow of related elements <the rhythms of country life>
b :  the repetition in a literary work of phrase, incident, character type, or symbol
:  a regularly recurrent quantitative change in a variable biological process <a circadian rhythm> — compare biorhythm
:  the effect created by the elements in a play, movie, or novel that relate to the temporal development of the action

Examples of RHYTHM

  1. the composer's use of jazz rhythm
  2. She enjoyed the rhythms of country life.
  3. Travel can disrupt your body's daily rhythm.
  4. Jets that cross time zones in a day play havoc with the natural rhythms acquired through evolution. —Nancy Shelton, Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1996

Origin of RHYTHM

Middle French & Latin; Middle French rhythme, from Latin rhythmus, from Greek rhythmos, probably from rhein to flow — more at stream
First Known Use: 1560

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue
RHYTHMS Defined for Kids


noun \ˈri-thəm\

Definition of RHYTHM for Kids

:  a regular repeated pattern of beats, sounds, activity, or movements
Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈrith-əm\

Medical Definition of RHYTHM

:  a regularly recurrent quantitative change in a variable biological process: as a :  the pattern of recurrence of the cardiac cycle <an irregular rhythm> b :  the recurring pattern of physical and functional changes associated with the mammalian and especially human sexual cycle
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