Slant Rhyme in Poetry: Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Slant Rhymes
  • 1:54 Examples of Slant Rhyme
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jacob Erickson

Jacob has his master's in English and has taught multiple levels of literature and composition, including junior high, college, and graduate students.

In this lesson, we'll explore slant rhymes, which are sometimes called half rhymes or near rhymes. After we look at a formal definition and some examples of slant rhyme, there is a short self-assessment quiz that you can take.

Slant Rhymes

Have you ever read a poem or heard a song that used two words that don't quite rhyme? It can be difficult to switch from a perfect rhyme scheme to one that has words that barely sound similar. This type of rhyme scheme is known as a slant rhyme. Let's take a look at the rhymes in two different stanzas from Emily Dickinson's Not any Higher Stands the Grave:

'Not any higher stands the Grave
For Heroes than for men--
Not any nearer for the Child
Than numb Three Score and Ten--' (1-4)

Notice how 'men' and 'ten' rhyme perfectly? This, of course, is a perfect rhyme. Compare this to the next stanza, which uses the same rhyme scheme:

'This latest Leisure equal lulls
The Beggar and his Queen
Propitiate this Democrat
A Summer's Afternoon.' (5-8)

Along with her reclusive nature, many readers originally found the slant rhyme in the poetry of Emily Dickinson odd. It's quite obvious that 'queen' and 'afternoon' both end with similar sounds, but don't rhyme. This imperfect rhyme is a slant rhyme, sometimes called a half rhyme or near rhyme. A more technical distinction between a full rhyme and a slant rhyme is that a full rhyme has a repetition in both the final consonant and the preceding vowel or consonant, while a slant rhyme has a repetition in the final consonant, but not in the preceding vowel or consonant.

You won't find much slant rhyme in poetry that came before the mid-19th century, but it is very common in the poetry of the 20th century. Contemporary poets frequently use slant rhyme to give themselves a greater range and freedom in the words that they use, as well as to produce a desired feeling in the poem.

Examples of Slant Rhyme

While it's fair to say that Emily Dickinson was famous for using slant rhymes, it was W. B. Yeats and Gerard Manley Hopkins who made them particularly popular. Here's an example from Yeats' Easter 1916:

'I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.' (1-4)

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 49 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Click "next lesson" whenever you finish a lesson and quiz. Got It
You now have full access to our lessons and courses. Watch the lesson now or keep exploring. Got It
You're 25% of the way through this course! Keep going at this rate,and you'll be done before you know it.
The first step is always the hardest! Congrats on finishing your first lesson. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
Way to go! If you watch at least 30 minutes of lessons each day you'll master your goals before you know it. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
Congratulations on earning a badge for watching 10 videos but you've only scratched the surface. Keep it up! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
You've just watched 20 videos and earned a badge for your accomplishment! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
You've just earned a badge for watching 50 different lessons. Keep it up, you're making great progress! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
You just watched your 100th video lesson. You have earned a badge for this achievement! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
Congratulations! You just finished watching your 200th lesson and earned a badge! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
Congratulations! You just finished watching your 300th lesson and earned a badge! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
You are a superstar! You have earned the prestigious 500 video lessons watched badge. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
Incredible. You have just entered the exclusive club and earned the 1000 videos watched badge. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
You have earned a badge for watching 20 minutes of lessons.
You have earned a badge for watching 50 minutes of lessons.
You have earned a badge for watching 100 minutes of lessons.
You have earned a badge for watching 250 minutes of lessons.
You have earned a badge for watching 500 minutes of lessons.
You have earned a badge for watching 1000 minutes of lessons.