Wikirhyme is alive:

This is just an idea at this stage, it hasn't been proposed by me and I'm not yet sure whether I will.

I still may, but for the moment I'm watching to see whether Wiktionary will take up the idea, or even if they don't whether Wiktionary might be a more suitable platform for it than Wikicities.

There has already been some discussion of this at wikipedia:user talk:andrewa#Wikirhyme, and more would be very welcome. There or this page's discussion page are two obvious places for it. Andrewa 09:59, 12 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Wikirhyme is a project to create an online rhyming dictionary of English, for use by poets, versifiers, songwriters and all others who use rhyme.

Structure of WikirhymeEdit


An article is a page in the main namespace, and represents a set (or family) of words that rhyme each with the others.

An entry represents a word that appears in the rhyming dictionary. It consists of:

  • An entry in the main list of an article.
  • Unless the word is also an article name, there will also be a redirect in the main namespace to an article in which it appears.
  • If the word forms double or other deeper rhymes, it may appear in lists of several articles. A redirect if there is one will point to the deepest of these, and the list entries for this word in the other articles will wikilink to the next deepest rhyme articles.

(If the word is used as an article name at any level, there will of course be no redirect.)


  • The main, unnamed namespace contains:
    • A page (article) for each family of rhyming words.
    • A redirect or article for each word.
  • The wikirhyme namespace is not used (or may become an alias of the main address space).
  • The project namespace, for documentation of the project and general document mode discussions, is called metarhyme.
  • Other namespaces follow normal conventions:
    • The talk namespace is for discussing specific articles and entries.
    • User is for user pages belonging to registered users.
    • User talk is for sending messages to users and discussing user pages.
    • Special is a pseudo-namespace used by the software.
    • Metarhyme talk is for discussion of project namespace pages, and threaded discussions of general issues.

Article contents and structureEdit

The name of an article is any one of the words listed in the article, and is called the article name word. Which word is used for the article name does not matter in the least. There is no attempt to be systematic, other than the restriction that article names (as opposed to redirects) are always single words. The structure of each article is a simple list of words, and possibly phrases, that rhyme with the article name word, in alphabetical order.

Each list item in an article (except the article name word itself) has a corresponding redirect, pointing to the article containing that word. A word or phrase which appears as a list element in an article, and is either the article name word or has a redirect to that article in the main namespace is termed on "entry.

Single-entry articles are welcome! They are the equivalent to stubs. This is a work in progress, and will hopefully remain one indefinitely, tracking the changes of the English language.

Suffixed words should be included only where they generate rhymes that would otherwise go undocumented. Most notably, regular plurals formed by adding an "s" or "z" sound should not be listed. However, behaviour should have its own entry despite the entry for behave, to document the rhyme with savior.

In some articles, a second list will list useful near rhymes or useful assonances. For example, trendiness will link to penniless.

Double and triple rhymesEdit

If a word forms double or deeper rhymes, then its entry in the single-rhyme article will be wikilinked to the next level deeper. The deeper level article will contain a pointer wikilink to the shallower level.

Double and triple rhyme entries will be named after one of the entries they contain, just as for single rhymes. There is no possibility of a clash here; Even if one of the words that form the deeper rhyme is already in use for the shallower rhyme article name, there must always be a second word available to name the deeper article. If all the double rhymes form triple rhymes, there is no need for an intermediate double rhyme article; One can be created if a word is discovered that belongs on the double rhyme list but not the triple (and can be used as the article name).

In fact there is no need for a syllable-based distinction between double and triple rhymes. Strict rhymes can be listed at any level, and the heirarchy can be defined down to a phoneme level where applicable.

What rhymes?Edit

In English, a rhyme generally starts with a stressed syllable. Thus, gantry rhymes with pantry but not with sultry despite their sharing a final unstressed syllable; Promotional rhymes with notional, but not with rational despite having two final syllables in common. Neither of these examples is even a near rhyme.

The criterion to be used is the perception of English native speakers. There is room for disagreement. Where doubt or disagreement exists, the link should be listed as a near rhyme. Exact rhymes are those on which all native speakers agree. For example, Tom Lehrer rhymed Harvard with discovered; This is a rhyme only on some dialects, and is not a strict rhyme (but it wouldn't be listed anyway, as Harvard is a proper name).

Rhymes may exist between words and phrases. Phrases will only have entries when they rhyme with at least one single word. Phrase entries will have redirects just like single-word entries, for search puproses, but will not be used for article names.

Words with even slightly different stress patterns do not rhyme; Proposer does not rhyme with bulldozer, but can be listed as a near rhyme.

Criteria for rhyming will be discussed in the talk, metarhyme and metarhyme talk namespaces.


Spelling is almost irrelevant. Where variant spellings exist, there is little point but absolutely no damage in listing them both. Rather than waste time discussing them, let's just list both if anyone wants to take the trouble to do so.

What's not included?Edit

  • Proper names.
  • Made-up words not in common usage (neologisms).
  • Brand names (they are a type of proper name).
  • Definitions of any sort. There are other sources for this information.
  • Phonetic and/or phonological representations.

Other languagesEdit

Wikirhyme is instigated as a single-language project in English. The main reason for this is that rhyme is a language-specific device: Some other languages use rhyme very similarly to English, others do not. For example, in English the stress pattern and syllable structure of a pair of words affects whether it is considered a rhyme far more strongly than they do in French. The phonology of a language also determines what will be considered a rhyme; Sounds both in complementary distribution and in free fluctuation will generally be considered equivalent for purposes of rhyme.

Wikirhyme will support projects to establish rhyming dictionaries in other languages in which the concept is meaningful, if these are proposed by speakers of those languages. These projects can either be proposed as a separate wiki or as an address space within Wikirhyme.

In the case of an address space within Wikirhyme, it is suggested that this address space and its corresponding talk pages should be named after a translation of the term wikirhyme into the target language. The language of Wikirhyme for administration and project-level discussions will remain English, but documentation would be updated to reflect any multi-language use of Wikirhyme. The language of the articles of this language and their talk pages would be the target language.

In the case of a separate wiki, the obvious name is again a translation of wikirhyme, and administration would presumably be in the target language, but all such issues are for the instigators and participants in that project to decide. This is the recommended long-term direction, but there is nothing to stop such a project starting out as an address space within the English Wikirhyme, in order to simplify the initial administration, and then forking to its own wiki once the project is sufficiently well established.

Other online rhyming dictionariesEdit

Several online English rhyming dictionaries already exist, and participants are encouraged to use them.

Advantages of WikirhymeEdit

Wikirhyme has several advantages over the others:

  • As a wiki, Wikirhyme allows you to contribute new rhymes which none of these may currently document.
  • As it is released under the GFDL, Wikirhyme is a resource that will be available free of charge, indefinitely.
  • As it is the product of collaboration of native speakers, rather than of machine correlation, Wikirhyme more accurately reflects the actual language. This is of particular value to people from non-English speaking backgrounds, who need more than just suggestions when it comes to selecting valid English rhymes.
  • The depth of the rhyme can be represented down to the phoneme level.
  • Many of the most interesting rhymes are quite complex, for example the near double rhyme between grapefruit and escape route.


Bear in mind that as these other sites are not released under the GFDL unless specifically indicated, they may be protected by copyright. So while you can certainly use them to find information, which can't be copyrighted, and can then use this information in adding and updating Wikirhyme entries, you are not in general permitted to simply copy lists of rhyming words from them to Wikirhyme. A list can be copyrighted, and under the Berne Convention it is copyrighted unless otherwise noted.

External linksEdit

Online English rhyming dictionaries include:

and at Online Dictionary Net there's a list of online rhyming dictionaries, including some of the above. You can update the list at Online Dictionay Net if you find another you like.

There's also a free, GPLd rhyming dictionary you can install on your own computer, see The Rhyming Dictionary Homepage.

How do I best start?Edit

Start anywhere! But particularly valuable are unusual rhymes that other online rhyming dictionaries may not have. Books of comic verse are a good source of these.

Two cautions:

  • Please do not edit the articles unless you are of genuine native-speaker status in English. It's probably inevitable that some will disregard this rule, but every time someone does it will reduce the usefulness of the project, and ironically those who will be most disadvantaged are those who also speak English as a second language. Whatever your standard of English, feel free to add suggestions and discussion to talk and metarhyme pages, but please do not add or change entries in the main article namespace if your native-speaker status is in any doubt. Very few people who have learned English as a second or subsequent language are of native-speaker status in this sense; Those who might be would include for example some published authors who have won major prizes for their work in English. If in any doubt please refrain.
  • If using other rhyming dictionaries, whether online or otherwise, respect their copyrights, see above.

The best way to start an article is to generate a list out of your own head. Go for it! Others can then use the existing dictionaries to find and fill the gaps in this list.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.