When you think of rhymes, you usually think of what are called “perfect rhymes” (also known as “full rhymes,” “exact rhymes,” or “true rhymes”) where the ends of the words sound exactly the same. But did you know there are many other types of rhymes?
Here is a list of the various types of rhymes that exist, along with a description of each.
Two words that have exactly the same vowel and consonant sounds at the ends, starting with the first vowel of the last stressed syllable. For example, screen/mean, gummy/chummy, and cavity/gravity are all perfect rhymes. Note that the first consonant sound of the last stressed syllable must be different. For example leaf/belief is not a perfect rhyme (see rhyme riche, below) because the final stressed syllable of each word begins with the same consonant “l” sound.
When the vowel sounds are the same in the final stressed syllables in a pair of words, but the ending consonant sounds are different. For example, green and beam have the same vowel sound, but end with different consonants, making them assonant, but not a perfect rhyme.
When words contain the same consonant sounds at the end, but not the same vowel sounds, such as take / hike, bite / eat, or uncle / ankle.
Also called “alliteration” or “beginning rhyme,” when words start with the same consonant sound(s), such as puppy / pizza or blue / black.
When the stressed final syllable of one word is matched with another word whose final syllable has a secondary stress, such as live / prohibitive or days / passageways.
Rhyming words from different languages, such as get / nyet, more / mejor, or see / oui.
Also called “near rhyme,” “half rhyme,” “slant rhyme,” or “lazy rhyme,” when some sounds are the same, but do not form a perfect rhyme. These may be assonant rhymes such as seem / mean, consonant rhymes such as anger / hunger, or at least have some similarity of sound such as dangerous / cancerous.
Also known as “identities” or “identicals,” rime riche, pronounced “rhyme reesh,” is when words that would otherwise be a perfect rhyme begin with the same consonant sounds. The words may be homophones as in there / their, rain / reign, or wear / ware, or their final stressed syllables may be homophones or homonyms, as in leave / believe or rate / berate.
Also called “eye rhyme,” when two words end with the same letters but not the same sound, so they appear the same, but aren’t a perfect rhyme. Examples of sight rhyme include prove / love, tough / cough, and flies / enemies.
When the last syllables match but previous stressed syllables do not, such as jumping / camping, silver / weaver, and ramble / jumble.
Similar to light rhyme, when a final stressed syllable is matched with a final unstressed syllable, as in sing / morning or tree / lady.