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 Hip-hop’s machine rhythm and rock’s tonal smearing combine for hypnosis on two fronts. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Post Malone Is the Voice of Modern Brain Fog," 9 Sep. 2019 The offense found better rhythm and balance and posted 49 of the team’s 51 points without Tate having to use his legs to make plays. Michael Lev, azcentral, "Arizona football rewind: 5 takeaways from the Wildcats' victory over NAU," 9 Sep. 2019 Also in June, music platform Pandora created a new sonic branding consultancy called Studio Resonate that builds on the company’s scientific approach to music—dissecting melody, rhythm and psychology to help brands appeal to consumers. Jennifer Alsever, Fortune, "Jingles All the Way: How Sonic Branding Is Helping Companies Get Heard in the Voice Computing Age," 7 Sep. 2019 Yet when the scientists introduced a genetic mutation into HES7 that can cause spondylocostal dysostosis (SCDO)—a group of conditions in which vertebrae form abnormally—this pristine rhythm disappeared. Scientific American, "Test Pilot Geese, Planetary Wrecking Balls and Super AI Vision: The Week’s Best Science GIFs," 6 Sep. 2019 Being run-heavy best propagates Wilson’s superb downfield and out-of-pocket passing, especially on play-action, while softly regulating his enthralling but rhythm-killing tendency to needlessly break down plays. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "Seahawks Continue to Lean on Run-Heavy Offensive Approach," 29 Aug. 2019 The condition can be treated with a procedure called electrical cardioversion to reset the heart rhythm. Aurelie Corinthios, PEOPLE.com, "Bringing Up Bates Star Alyssa Webster Undergoes Second Heart Surgery in 4 Months," 29 Aug. 2019 Those vibrant rhythms of Africa collided head on with the sounds of Europe to create jazz, a seminal American art form that has inspired countless generations and spread around the globe. National Geographic, "Hear the 10 essential sounds of America," 23 Aug. 2019 Those passes can loosen the defense, keep the offense on schedule and get him into a throwing rhythm. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "5 observations from rewatching the Bears’ Week 2 win over the Broncos, including an offense that’s stuck and a defense that prevented huge chunk plays," 17 Sep. 2019

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

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for rhythm

The first known use of rhythm was in 1560

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More Definitions for rhythm

rhythm

noun
How to pronounce rhythm (audio)

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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Comments on rhythm

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