rhythm

noun
\ˈri-t͟həm \

Definition of rhythm 

1a : 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

2a : the aspect of music comprising all the elements (such as accent, meter, and tempo) that relate to forward movement

b : a characteristic rhythmic pattern rumba rhythm also : meter entry 1 sense 2

c : the group of instruments in a band supplying the rhythm

called also rhythm section

3a : 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

4 : a regularly recurrent quantitative change in a variable biological process a circadian rhythm — compare biorhythm

5 : the effect created by the elements in a play, movie, or novel that relate to the temporal development of the action

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Synonyms for rhythm

Synonyms

beat, cadence, measure, meter

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Examples of rhythm in a Sentence

Jets that cross time zones in a day play havoc with the natural rhythms acquired through evolution. — Nancy Shelton, Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1996 They shattered punk orthodoxy with radical politics and jagged rhythms, their rage captured in brutally succinct outbursts. — Matt Diehl, Rolling Stone, 20 Oct. 1994 I would even say that when the bouncy style is not an attempt to dazzle the reader, or one's self, but to incorporate into American literary prose the rhythms, nuances, and emphases of urban and immigrant speech, the result can sometimes be a language of new and rich emotional subtleties … — Philip Roth, Reading Myself and Others, 1975 She walked as Doctor Reefy thought he had never seen anyone walk before. To her whole body there was a swing, a rhythm that intoxicated him. — Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio, 1919 At that the others began to gibber in unison, also rising to their feet, spreading their hands and swaying their bodies in rhythm with their chant. — H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau, 1896 the composer's use of jazz rhythm She enjoyed the rhythms of country life. Travel can disrupt your body's daily rhythm.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Their geometric rhythm is a symbolic representation of an individual’s complete cosmology. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The 12 Astrological Houses: Interpreting Your Birth Chart Beyond the Zodiac," 6 Oct. 2018 The bikes fire up with a smooth bang, followed by the staccato beat of cylinders finding their rhythm. Mitchell Nicholson, Popular Mechanics, "The Great American Motorcycle Racing Revival," 7 Sep. 2018 First there was evidence that the type of blue light our devices emit could disrupt our circadian sleep rhythms. Markham Heid, Good Housekeeping, "8 Easy Tricks for a Much Happier Day," 6 Aug. 2018 The rhythms of play are functionally the same: drop, scavenge, fight. Julie Muncy, Ars Technica, "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review: War games, now with battle royale!," 19 Oct. 2018 Take it brick-by-brick, step-by-slippered step, and make sure that each movement is choreographed in time with the rhythm of your inner world. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes October 15-21," 13 Oct. 2018 Unlike other wireless chargers, the Pixel Stand is smart and can identify and recognize your specific Pixel 3 phone through an invisible handshake encoded in the very rhythm of the wireless charging patterns. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Google's 'Pixel Stand' Might Finally Make You Buy a Wireless Charger," 9 Oct. 2018 There’s a salty breeze dropping live rhythms of samba-rock on a snaking ribbon of humans. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 2018 And a lander would fit with the typical rhythm of planetary exploration: fly by, orbit, land, rove. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "What Would It Take to Land on Mercury? It's Time to Find Out, Scientists Say," 30 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rhythm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rhythm

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rhythm

Middle French & Latin; Middle French rhythme, from Latin rhythmus, from Greek rhythmos, probably from rhein to flow — more at stream

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Statistics for rhythm

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rhythm

The first known use of rhythm was in 1560

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More Definitions for rhythm

rhythm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rhythm

: a regular, repeated pattern of sounds or movements

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

rhythm

noun
\ˈri-t͟həm \

Kids Definition of rhythm

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

rhythm

noun
\ˈrit͟h-əm \

Medical Definition of rhythm 

1 : 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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Comments on rhythm

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