Feminine rhyme

The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms - Ross Murfin 2018

Feminine rhyme

Feminine rhyme: Rhyme in which rhyming stressed syllables are followed by one or more unstressed syllables. A feminine rhyme that extends over two syllables is called double rhyme, and one extending over three syllables is called triple rhyme. Feminine rhyme extending over four or more syllables (quadruple rhyme, quintuple rhyme, etc.) is rare in English.

EXAMPLES: Banter / canter is a double rhyme, as is glider / divider, because each pair of words has a rhyming stressed syllable followed by an identical unstressed syllable. Bantering / cantering and insidious / perfidious are triple rhymes. Indicated / syndicated is an example of quadruple rhyme. In the first stanza of “The Violin” (1902), Trumbull Stickney alternated double feminine rhyme (fingers / lingers) with an eye rhyme that is masculine (how and bow):

You came to teach me how the hardened fingers

Must drop and nail the music down, and how

The sound then drags and nettled cries, then lingers

After the dying bow. —