An eye rhyme, also called a visual rhyme or a sight rhyme, is a rhyme in which two words are spelled similarly but pronounced differently and have come into general use through "poetic license" also known as artistic license. An example is the pair slaughter and laughter; although they look similar, and should rhyme based on the visual aspect, when they are spoken there is no rhyming quality.
Many older English poems, particularly those written in Middle English or written in the Renaissance, contain rhymes that were originally true or full rhymes, but as read by modern readers, they are now eye rhymes because of shifts in pronunciation, especially the Great Vowel Shift. They are called historic rhymes.
- "Rhyme". Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (6th Edition (2011): 1. MAS Ultra – School Edition ed.). 2012. p. 23.
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