Feminine Rhyme: Definition, Examples, Usage
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 4 min read


  1. What is Feminine Rhyme?
  2. Examples of Feminine Rhyme
  3. How to Use Feminine Rhyme

Has the term "feminine rhyme" ever crossed the pages of your poetry study and left you scratching your head? Don't worry, you're not alone! Let's break down the definition of feminine rhyme together. It's simpler than you might think, and once you've got the hang of it, you'll be able to spot it in your favorite poems and even incorporate it into your own writing!

What is Feminine Rhyme?

Before we dive in, let's set the stage with a clear and simple definition of feminine rhyme. In the world of poetry, a feminine rhyme is a rhyme that occurs between stressed syllables followed by one or more unstressed syllables. This might sound a bit confusing, but it's really just a fancy way of saying that the rhyme includes more than just the last stressed syllable. It extends into the unstressed syllables that follow.

The Anatomy of Feminine Rhyme

Let's get a bit more detailed about what makes a rhyme "feminine". Here are the key elements:

  • Stressed syllable: This is the part of the word that you naturally emphasize when you say it. For example, in the word "amazing", the stressed syllable is "maze".
  • Unstressed syllables: These are the parts of the word that you don't emphasize. In "amazing", the unstressed syllables are "a" and "ing".
  • Matching stressed syllables: To have a feminine rhyme, the stressed syllables in the two words must rhyme. So, "maze" in "amazing" could rhyme with "daze" in "blazing".
  • Matching unstressed syllables: The unstressed syllables that come after the stressed syllable must also rhyme. So, "ing" in "amazing" would rhyme with "ing" in "blazing".

Feminine Rhyme vs. Masculine Rhyme

So, what sets feminine rhyme apart from its counterpart, masculine rhyme? The difference lies in how many syllables are involved in the rhyme. Masculine rhyme occurs when only the final stressed syllables rhyme, like "cat" and "hat". On the other hand, feminine rhyme includes both the final stressed syllable and the unstressed syllables that follow, like "showing" and "going".

Why Use Feminine Rhyme?

Now that you know the definition of feminine rhyme, you might be wondering why poets use it. The answer lies in the rhythm and flow it adds to poetry. With the extra syllables in the rhyme, feminine rhyme can make a poem sound more fluid and musical. Plus, it's a fun way to surprise your readers with an unexpected rhyme!

Examples of Feminine Rhyme

Now that we've got the definition of feminine rhyme under our belts, it's time to see it in action. I've compiled a list of examples to help illustrate this poetic device. You'll soon realize it's more common than you might think!

Examples in Poetry

Many famous poets have used feminine rhyme in their works. Let's take a look at a few examples:

  1. "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe: "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary..." Here, "dreary" and "weary" are a perfect example of feminine rhyme, with both the stressed and unstressed syllables matching.
  2. "Hope is the Thing with Feathers" by Emily Dickinson: "And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—" Here, "sweetest" and "heard" form a feminine rhyme with the "est" and the "ed" sounds.

Examples in Song Lyrics

Not just confined to poems, feminine rhyme also frequently appears in song lyrics. Let's break down a couple of examples:

  1. "Firework" by Katy Perry: "Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin / Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?" Here, "thin" and "in" form a feminine rhyme with the "in" sound matching.
  2. "The Times They Are A-Changin'" by Bob Dylan: "Come gather 'round people wherever you roam / And admit that the waters around you have grown." Here, "roam" and "grown" form a feminine rhyme with the "om" and "own" sounds.

These examples of feminine rhyme in poems and songs should give you a pretty solid understanding of how it works. Once you start looking for it, you'll notice feminine rhyme used in all sorts of writing!

How to Use Feminine Rhyme

Once you understand the definition of feminine rhyme and have seen it in action, you might be wondering how you can use it in your own poetry or songwriting. Fear not, it's easier than you might think!

Identifying Feminine Rhymes

The first step in using feminine rhyme effectively is being able to identify it. Remember, a feminine rhyme involves two syllables: a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one. The rhyme comes from the matching sounds in both syllables. This is different from masculine rhyme, which involves only one syllable. So, keep your ears open for these double-syllable matches!

Creating Your Own Feminine Rhymes

Now that you know what to look for, let's try creating some feminine rhymes of our own. Here are a few tips:

  1. Start by thinking of a word you want to rhyme. Let's say our word is "flower."
  2. Next, think of a word with a similar ending sound. In this case, "shower" fits the bill.
  3. Notice how both words have a stressed syllable ("flow" and "show") followed by an unstressed syllable ("er"). That's your feminine rhyme!

Using Feminine Rhymes in Your Writing

Last but not least, let's talk about how to incorporate feminine rhymes into your writing. The beauty of feminine rhyme is that it adds a certain rhythm and flow to your words. It can make your poetry or lyrics sound more melodic and interesting. The key is to use it sparingly and not let the rhyme overtake the message of your work. After all, the best writing is always about expressing yourself and telling your own unique story.

So there you have it—the definition of feminine rhyme, examples of its use, and tips on how to incorporate it into your own writing. It's time to get out there and start rhyming!

If you're intrigued by the concept of feminine rhyme and want to explore more about wordplay in poetry, don't miss the workshop 'Wordplay' by Celina Rodriguez. This workshop dives into various poetic techniques and wordplay methods, helping you become a more skillful and expressive poet.