Types of Rhymes

(poetry > types of rhymes)

Rhymes are are a major component of many poems and songs. There are many different types of rhymes and rhyming schemes poets and songwriters can use. This article will describe the different types of rhymes and related literary devices with links to more detailed descriptions containing examples of each type of rhyme.

Perfect Rhymes

You are likely familiar with perfect rhymes from poems you first heard when you are young child. To be a perfect rhyme the rhyming word pairs must have the same stressed vowel and ending consonant. Run and fun and hop and stop are perfect rhymes. Rhymes are still perfect rhymes even if they have different spellings, such as bear and scare. Types of perfect rhymes include masculine (one matching syllable), feminine (two matching syllables) and triple rhymes (three matching final syllables).

Near Rhymes

Near rhymes are used frequently in song lyrics. They are words that almost rhyme, such as near and air or still and real. Near rhymes are sometimes called an imperfect rhyme, lazy rhyme or slant rhymes.


Couplets are two successive rhymed lines in a song or poem that also have the same metre. They also tend to be about the same length. This couplet is from Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18." "So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee


A quatrain is a four-line stanza or verse. Quatrains often have alternate rhyming lines but many different rhyming patterns can be used.


Anaphora is a rhetorical device that involves repeating the same word or words at the start of a line to add increasing emphasis.

Assonance or Assonant Rhyme

Assonance is when a particular vowel sound is used repeatedly. It involves the use of near rhymes.


In her article, Mary Dawson describes alliteration as "the repetition of accented consonant sounds in successive or neighboring words." This is often seen in tongue twisters, such as "she sells seashells by the seashore." Alliteration is also known as a "head rhyme" or "initial rhyme."

End Rhyme

The last syllables of a line are rhymed. This is the most common rhyming scheme in poetry.

Identical Rhymes

This involves repeating the same word from a previous line.

Eye Rhyme

In this case the words don't actually rhyme but they look like they should to the eye.

You can use the online rhyming tools to find words that rhyme. These tools can also be used to find near rhymes.