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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for rhythm

Synonyms

beat, cadence, measure, meter

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

With the task of merging two units into one, finding an architectural rhythm was the first priority. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Inside an Unconventionally Glam Family Home in Chicago’s Historic Palmolive Building," 30 Apr. 2019 For now, the day finds a rhythm, round and round the track. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "One Day at Daytona," 22 Mar. 2019 Bono and crew made themselves beloved by taking the force of post-punk and making big anthemic songs propelled by the Edge’s chiming guitars and the martial drive of the rhythm section. John Adamian, courant.com, "From Sam Hunt And Reba To U2 And King X: A Week Of Big-Name Concerts," 23 June 2018 The trio -- which will appear at the Survival Kit Gallery at 9 tonight - builds on and expands the musical boundaries of the innovative rhythm section thanks in no small part to its guitarist, Anthony Pirog. Joey Morona, cleveland.com, "Kent State's fledgling esports program to hold its first tournament this weekend," 3 May 2018 The night was a celebration of Puerto Rican heritage, and a spirited throng created a lively rhythm section with the island beat near right field at Marlins Park. Craig Davis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Prado helps Chen make triumphant return for Marlins in win over Rockies," 29 Apr. 2018 Puno, Woima Collective Heavy rhythm section, tight groove, far-out organ playing, great horn melodies. USA TODAY, "Playlist: What's Dr. Dog listening to?," 20 Apr. 2018 These imbalances can also cause symptoms like abnormal heart rhythms, weakness, confusion and seizures, per the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Things You Need To Know About Using Laxatives For Weight Loss," 2 Jan. 2019 There’s a good reason last year’s Nobel Prize in medicine went to a trio of scientists who made pioneering inroads in the study of circadian rhythm. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep—And Why It Should Be Your Top Priority (Really)," 1 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rhythm

Statistics for rhythm

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rhythm

The first known use of rhythm was in 1560

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on rhythm

What made you want to look up rhythm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!