- movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like.
- the pattern of regular or irregular pulses caused in music by the occurrence of strong and weak melodic and harmonic beats.
- a particular form of this: duple rhythm; triple rhythm.
- measured movement, as in dancing.
- Art, Literature. a patterned repetition of a motif, formal element, etc., at regular or irregular intervals in the same or a modified form.
- the effect produced in a play, film, novel, etc., by the combination or arrangement of formal elements, as length of scenes, speech and description, timing, or recurrent themes, to create movement, tension, and emotional value in the development of the plot.
- metrical or rhythmical form; meter; cadence.
- a particular kind of metrical form.
- metrical movement.
- the pattern of recurrent strong and weak accents, vocalization and silence, and the distribution and combination of these elements in speech.
- Physiology. the regular recurrence of an action or function, as of the beat of the heart, or the menstrual cycle.
- procedure marked by the regular recurrence of particular elements, phases, etc.: the rhythm of the seasons.
- regular recurrence of elements in a system of motion.
- the arrangement of the relative durations of and accents on the notes of a melody, usually laid out into regular groups (bars) of beats, the first beat of each bar carrying the stress
- any specific arrangement of such groupings; timequadruple rhythm
- (in poetry)
- the arrangement of words into a more or less regular sequence of stressed and unstressed or long and short syllables
- any specific such arrangement; metre
- (in painting, sculpture, architecture, etc) a harmonious sequence or pattern of masses alternating with voids, of light alternating with shade, of alternating colours, etc
- any sequence of regularly recurring functions or events, such as the regular recurrence of certain physiological functions of the body, as the cardiac rhythm of the heartbeat
1550s, “rhymed verse, metrical movement,” from Latin rhythmus “movement in time,” from Greek rhythmos “measured flow or movement, rhythm; proportion, symmetry; arrangement, order; form, shape, wise, manner; soul, disposition,” related to rhein “to flow,” from PIE root *sreu- “to flow” (see rheum). Rhythm method of birth control attested from 1936. Rhythm and blues, U.S. music style, is from 1949 (first in “Billboard”).
- Movement or variation characterized by the regular recurrence or alternation of different quantities or conditions, as in the heartbeat.
The “beat” of music; the regular pattern of long and short notes. Certain kinds of music, such as blues or marches, have a very characteristic rhythm. Rhythm, harmony, and melody are elements of music.