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 syllabication are unstressed. It is also commonly known as double triple rhyme.

Feminine rhyme, also called double triple rhyme, in poetry, [is] a rhyme involving two or three syllables (as in motion and ocean or willow and billow).

— Britannica[1]

feminine rhyme: double rhyme in verses with feminine endings (as motion, ocean)

— Merriam-Webster[2]

Masculine rhymes involve only one stressed syllable, as in 'fail'/'wail' and 'mine'/'thine'. Feminine rhymes consist of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable; for example, 'landing'/'standing'.[3]

Masculine rhymes are either one-syllable words, or words that end on a stressed syllable...Feminine rhymes always end on an unstressed syllable. They are always two-syllable rhymes. (Masculine rhymes are one-syllable rhymes.)[4]

In poetry


The final, unstressed, syllable of a feminine rhyme is often an identity rhyme (both syllables the same), but does not have to be, it may be a mosaic rhyme, such as "expand me" and "strand thee".[4]

The feminine rhyme is rare in a monosyllabic language such as English, but the gerund and participle suffix -ing can make it readily. 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



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.

In music

Rock and roll

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

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 Daddy Kane, Rakim, Notorious B.I.G, Lil Wayne, DMX, Pharoahe Monch, Eazy-E, MC Paul Barman, 2pac and Redman) have been known to string together large sequences of complex rhyme patterns.

See also


  1. ^ (1999) "Feminine rhyme", Britannica.com. Access date: May 18, 2017.
  2. ^ "Feminine Rhyme." Merriam-Webster.com. Accessed May 18, 2017. rhyme https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminine rhyme.
  3. ^ Dupriez, Bernard Marie (1991). A Dictionary of Literary Devices: Gradus, A-Z, p.400. Halsall, Albert W.; trans. University of Toronto. ISBN 9780802068033.
  4. ^ a b Pattison, Pat (1991). Songwriting: Essential Guide to Rhyming: A Step-by-Step Guide to Better Rhyming and Lyrics, p.7. Hal Leonard. ISBN 9781476867557.

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