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

Currently, Maroon 5 includes Adam, PJ Morton (keyboards), Matt Flynn (drums), Sam Farrar (multiple instruments), Jesse Carmichael (keyboards and rhythm guitar), James Valentine (guitar), and Mickey Madden (bass). Megan Stein, Country Living, "Wait, Who Else Besides Adam Levine Is in Maroon 5?," 20 Jan. 2019 By embracing elements of 1980s pop and rock — with a dash of African high-life rhythms — Williams and her latest band seem to be thriving anew. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Paramore, back on road with 'The After Laughter Summer Tour,' soldiers through upheavals, depression," 12 July 2018 Jackson's 1994 slow jam was seductive enough already as a standalone track, with its smooth rhythm and Janet's whispery vocals. Nicole Demarco And Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "14 Sexy Music Videos You Definitely Shouldn't Watch at Work," 2 Nov. 2018 For the film's villain, Botha (Roland Moller), Jablonsky came up with a unique percussion rhythm by running a tom-tom through several distortion pedals and a compressor. Byron Burton, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Skyscraper' Composer Didn't Want a Marvel-Style Score," 12 July 2018 Folks dance differently, rap with different rhythms, scream at each other at different volumes. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "A Highly Entertaining, Energetic 'In the Heights' At Playhouse On Park," 18 June 2018 The excitement in Boylan’s voice rises and falls with the rhythm of the game. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Local broadcaster Pat Boylan is a rising star," 15 June 2018 Gaby Kerpel has spent nearly two decades pushing traditional music forms from South American toward electronic music, recontextualizing styles like Colombian cumbia and Andean huayno with inventive club rhythms. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "As King Coya, Argentine producer Gaby Kerpel pushes a thrilling mix of traditional South American folk with global club beats," 7 June 2018 Without the late-braking Spaniard in their midst, Beaubier and Herrin were able to attack the corners – and each other – with a more comfortable rhythm. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "No crash, but plenty of final-corner excitement as MotoAmerica rides out of Elkhart Lake," 3 June 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

12 Feb 2019

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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