rhythm

noun
\ ˈri-t͟həm How to pronounce rhythm (audio) \

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

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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 Because the net result was a complete loss of offensive rhythm. John Canzano, oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon Ducks fumble Fiesta Bowl opportunity and raise 2021 questions," 2 Jan. 2021 Mitchell can see Young’s sense of rhythm in Duntate Jr. and wants to nurture it. Wendi C. Thomas, ProPublica, "FedEx Prioritizes Packages Over Employee Safety, Workers and Experts Say," 23 Dec. 2020 As the Nets zipped the ball around the court, befuddled Warriors defenders and capitalized on open looks, Golden State struggled to find any semblance of rhythm on either end. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors show how far they are from contention in blowout loss to Nets," 22 Dec. 2020 But Brees also had to re-establish this rhythm at some point. Luke Johnson, NOLA.com, "Drew Brees said 'there was a lot more to be desired' in his return to the Saints lineup," 21 Dec. 2020 The injury is an unfortunate blow for a backfield that has been unable to establish any semblance of rhythm this season. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "Trojans probably won’t have Vavae Malepeai available for Oregon matchup," 16 Dec. 2020 Despite this fragmented rhythm, the Lions almost won it with the last touch of the game — a back-post pass to Tesho Akindele, who fired off a wide-open shot only to send it over the crossbar. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando City earns wild playoff win over NYCFC in penalty kicks," 21 Nov. 2020 Not every cut maintains this rhythm, but even the quiet ones have a certain urgency. Daniel Alarcón, The New Yorker, "Rita Indiana’s Songs for the Apocalypse," 19 Oct. 2020 Fittingly, this rhythm has a name that evokes a beating heart: the flood pulse. Scott Reinhard, New York Times, "The World’s Largest Tropical Wetland Has Become an Inferno," 13 Oct. 2020

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

16 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rhythm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhythm. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce rhythm (audio) \

Kids Definition of rhythm

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

rhythm

noun
\ ˈrit͟h-əm How to pronounce rhythm (audio) \

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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