Feminine rhyme

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A feminine rhyme is a rhyme that matches two or more syllables, usually at the end of respective lines, in which the final syllable or syllables are unstressed. It is also commonly known as double rhyme.

Feminine rhyme in poetry[edit]


Feminine rhyme is relatively rare in English poetry and usually appears as a special effect.[citation needed] However, the Hudibrastic relies upon feminine rhyme for its comedy, and limericks will often employ outlandish feminine rhymes for their humor. Irish satirist Jonathan Swift used many feminine rhymes in his poetry.

William Shakespeare's Sonnet number 20 makes use of feminine rhymes:

Rhyming Syllables Rhyme Pattern

A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted,
Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion;
A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion...
But since she prick’d thee out for women’s pleasure,
Mine be thy love and thy love’s use their treasure.



Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven employs multiple feminine rhymes as internal rhymes throughout.


In French verse, a feminine rhyme is one in which the final syllable is a "silent" e, even if the word is masculine. In classical French poetry, two feminine rhymes cannot occur in succession.

Feminine rhyme in music[edit]

Rock and Roll[edit]

In his 1978 song Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?, Rod Stewart uses feminine rhyme: "They took a cab to his high-rise apartment; At last, he could tell her exactly what his heart meant."

Hip hop[edit]

In hip hop music, especially since the 1990s, the use of feminine rhyme in rapping (often referred to by the colloquial terms "multis" or "multirhymes" — a contraction of "multisyllabic rhymes") is considered a sign of technical skill, and rap artists (such as Elzhi, Eminem, Big Pun, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Big L, Big T, Notorious B.I.G, Kool G Rap, DMX, Pharoahe Monch, Nas, Eyedea and Redman) have been known to string together large sequences of complex rhyme patterns.


See also[edit]