Pronunciation: (ri&thslash;'um), [key]
1. movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like.
2. Music.
a. the pattern of regular or irregular pulses caused in music by the occurrence of strong and weak melodic and harmonic beats.
b. a particular form of this: duple rhythm; triple rhythm.
3. measured movement, as in dancing.
4. Art, Literature. a patterned repetition of a motif, formal element, etc., at regular or irregular intervals in the same or a modified form.
5. the effect produced in a play, film, novel, etc., by the combination or arrangement of formal elements, as length of scenes, speech and description, timing, or recurrent themes, to create movement, tension, and emotional value in the development of the plot.
6. Pros.
a. metrical or rhythmical form; meter.
b. a particular kind of metrical form.
c. metrical movement.
7. the pattern of recurrent strong and weak accents, vocalization and silence, and the distribution and combination of these elements in speech.
8. Physiol.the regular recurrence of an action or function, as of the beat of the heart, or the menstrual cycle.
9. procedure marked by the regular recurrence of particular elements, phases, etc.: the rhythm of the seasons.
10. regular recurrence of elements in a system of motion.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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