from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A rhyme consisting of words, such as lint and pint, with similar spellings but different sounds. Also called sight rhyme.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Pairs of words (or syllables) that, because of their spelling, look as if they rhyme but, because of different pronunciation, do not

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an imperfect rhyme (e.g., `love' and `move')


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    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • @ sarra - interesting idea. The hymns I am referring to were mostly written in the 18th and, mainly, 19th centuries, i.e. long after the GVS. I don't think these rhymes were an attempt actually to archaicize the verse, but rather were the result of the relative poverty of English rhyme (how many words rhyme with "heaven", "love", and "God"?), plus a (buried, historical) feeling that these words *should* rhyme, even if they don't. Also, there was a feeling, undoubtedly, that in religious matters, older forms of the language were better, more appropriate for addressing God. The legacy of such rhymes in pre-GVS texts certainly lent authority. Another factor may be that in some still-existing dialects "prove" and "love" do rhyme. For example, I had always considered the rhyme "seen"–"been" to be an eye rhyme until I moved from Baltimore to Toronto and met people who normally pronounce "been" like "bean".

    @ bilby, I thin I'm tending toward preferring "eye rhyme", because of its somewhat childlike insistence that, despite what the ear hears, it does rhyme: "I rhyme!"

    @ jennarenn, I didn't know there were other versions. This is how it was in our Presbyterian hymnal, I believe (though I think I misquoted slightly: the line should be: "Here I raise mine Ebenezer," which goes with what I said about using older forms of language ("mine" instead of "my" used before a vowel sound, just like we still use "an" instead of "a").

    December 18, 2007

  • I *love* that verse of Come, Thou Fount. Nobody else ever believes me. Do you happen to know what denomination supports that version? :) j

    December 18, 2007

  • Haha! You may have a point there, sarra. :-)

    *wondering whether Gladly is related to Chained*

    December 18, 2007

  • I've often wondered if these sorts of rhymes were only invented after the Great Vowel Shift, whereupon people would read previously perfectly-well-rhyming old verse and think "It doesn't rhyme! Must be an olde-tyme trick — that's good enough for me!" and proceed to write drivel quite consciously rhyming prove with love thinking it's sophisticated. Well?

    December 18, 2007

  • I confess to having a grandmother - a capable and adorable woman I will always miss - who introduced me to my first teddy bear: Gladly :-)

    December 18, 2007

  • You mean everyone's favorite cross-eyed bear, I assume?

    December 18, 2007

  • Then you must know who Gladly is ;-)

    December 18, 2007

  • Visual rhyme works for me too. I grew up singing Protestant hymns, where "God" rhymes with "blood" and "heaven" rhymes with "given". My favorite hymn may well be "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing", where among other things, "blessing" rhymes with "never ceasing", and my favorite lines (which today sound more than a little erotic to me) make up what is supposed to be an abab quatrain:

    Here I raise my Ebenezer,

    Hither by Thy help I've come,

    And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,

    Safely to arrive at home.

    The reference isn't to Scrooge, but to a memorial stone or pillar (what scholars today call a fetish) erected by Samuel to commemorate an Israelite victory (1 Sam. 7: 12). Gosh, can't get away from those sexual innuendoes. Damn that Freud.

    December 18, 2007

  • I like visual rhyme better.

    Bob Dylan got away with lots of aural/lyrical rhymes which work brilliantly in his songs (especially if you're a rabid Okie) even if the words look daft on paper.

    December 18, 2007

  • LOL You mean "hard" and "tired" don't rhyme? I bet they do when Loretta sings them (or for that matter, my Virginia cousins). But even when pronounced with a more standard pronunciation, they still work as a half-rhyme, with matching final consonantal phonemes.

    December 18, 2007

  • I wonder what the opposite of "eye rhyme" is? I'm reminded of a Loretta Lynn song (Coalminer's Daughter), in which she rhymes hard and tired:

    "The work we done was hard

    At night we´d sleep ´cause we were tired..."

    If you were from the South, this would make perfect sense to you.

    December 17, 2007

  • "Rhymes" like prove-love-grove, blood-good-brood, etc. (often found in hymnals). Also called sight rhyme.

    December 17, 2007