A masculine rhyme is a rhyme that matches only one syllable, usually at the end of respective lines. Often the final syllable is stressed.

Masculine rhyme, in verse, a monosyllabic rhyme or a rhyme that occurs only in stressed final syllables (such as claims, flames or rare, despair).

— Britannica[1]

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'.[2]

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.)[3]


In English prosody, a masculine rhyme is a rhyme on a single stressed syllable at the end of a line of poetry. This term is interchangeable with single rhyme and is often used contrastingly with the terms "feminine rhyme" and "double rhyme".

In English-language poetry, especially serious verse, masculine rhymes comprise a majority of all rhymes.[citation needed] John Donne's poem "Lecture Upon the Shadow" is one of many that utilise exclusively masculine rhyme:

Stand still, and I will read to thee
A lecture, love, in Love's philosophy.
These three hours that we have spent
Walking here, two shadows went
Along with us, which we ourselves produced.
But now the sun is just above our head,
We do those shadows tread,
And to brave clearness all things are reduced.


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

See also


  1. ^ (1999) "Masculine rhyme", Britannica.com. Access date: May 18, 2017.
  2. ^ Dupriez, Bernard Marie (1991). A Dictionary of Literary Devices: Gradus, A-Z, p.400. Halsall, Albert W.; trans. University of Toronto. ISBN 9780802068033.
  3. ^ 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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