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Poetry Guide: Classification of Rhymes

Peter Dale classifies forty types of rhymes in his book An Introduction To Rhyme (ISBN 1-85725-124-5).

Traditional Pure Rhyme

Dale identifies the following varieties of Traditional Pure Rhyme:

  1. Single Pure Rhyme (example: cat / mat)
  2. Double Pure Rhyme (example: silly / Billy)
  3. Triple Pure Rhyme (example: mystery' / hitory)
  4. Eye Rhyme (example: love / move)
  5. Near Rhyme (example: breadth / deaf)
  6. Wrenched Stress Rhyme (example: bent / firmament)
  7. Wrenched Sense Rhyme


Dale identifies the following varieties of Pararhyme :

  1. Single Pararhyme (example: hill / Hell)
  2. Double Pararhyme (example: Satan / satin)
  3. Triple Pararhyme (example: summery / Samurai)
  4. Double Pararhyme Mixed Form (example: lover / liver)
  5. Triple Pararhyme Mixed Form (example: mystery / mastery)
  6. Near Pararhyme (example: live / leaf)

Assonance Rhyme

Dale identifies the following varieties of Assonance Rhyme :

  1. Single Assonance with Head Rhyme (example: feast / feed)
  2. Double Assonance with Head Rhyme (example: fever / feature)
  3. Triple Assonance with Head Rhyme (example: rosary / ropery)

Pure Assonance Rhyme

  1. Single Pure Assonance Rhyme (example: leaves / feast)
  2. Double Pure Assonance Rhyme (example: babies / lady)
  3. Triple Pure Assonance Rhyme (example: Cerements / temperance)

Consonance Rhyme

Dale identifies the following types of Consonance Rhyme:

  1. Head Rhyme (example: leaves / lance)
  2. Final Consonance also known as Half Rhyme (example: spot / cut)

Syllable Rhyme

Dale identifies the following types of Syllable Rhyme:

  1. Pure Syllable Rhyme (example: belfry / selfish)
  2. Syllable Pararhyme (example: tractive / truckle)
  3. Syllable Assonance (example: shadow / matter)
  4. Syllalble Assonance with Head Rhyme (example: shadow / shackle);

Uneven Rhyme

Dale describes three types of Uneven Rhyme:

  1. Simple Uneven Rhyme (example: ten / oven)
  2. Uneven Rhyme combined with Pararhyme (example: pen / open)
  3. Uneven Rhyme with Reduced Stress (example: house-boat / top-coat)

Other types of rhyme

Dale also identifies the following types of rhyme:

Light Rhyme (rhyme on unstressed syllables; example: shallow / minnow')
Consonant Chime (example from Dylan Thomas: ferrule / folly / angle / valley / coral / mile)
Alternation (alternation of masculine and feminine endings, a sort of rhymthmic rhyme)
Analytic Rhyme (complex patterns, example of pararhyme abba and assonance abab in Auden: began / flush / flash / gun)
Off-Centred Rhyme (placing rhyme in unexpected places mid-line)
Mirror Rhyme (example: nude / dune)
Generic Rhyme (rhyme based on phonetic groups of consonants; example: father / harder / carver)
Echo Rhyme (example, line ending in disease? Ease.)
Identity Rhyme (repitition of word)
Repetition (repitition of line)
Spatial Rhyme