Rhythm or rythm – how should you spell it?

If you’re wondering whether it’s rhythm or rythm, we have all the answers for you right here. This is one of the words that expose the seemingly illogical differences between English spelling and pronunciation.

rhythm or tythm? Which form is correct meaning definition correct form difference examples Correctme.org

Rhythm, rythm or something else?

As it sometimes happens in the beautiful language we call English, the correct option is the one that seems to make less sense when you look at the pronunciation – and so, the only right spelling is rhythm.

The meaning of rhythm

Rhythm is defined as a pattern measured in time, which can be realized by sound, movement or even language (e.g. in poetry, song, dance, music). The synonyms of this word include: beat, tempo, pulse, flow, swing.

The story behind the spelling – etymology

Why is that ‘h’ even there? Contrary to what it may seem, this spelling makes prefect sense, but in another language. The word rhythm was borrowed by English speakers from Ancient Greek through Latin. This is one of the reasons why English spelling often doesn’t match the pronunciation, and although it’s not the only one, such discrepancies generally stem from a cause that can be traced back in history.

Rhythm or rythm – now it’s all clear! Examples from literature

I feel the rhythm in my walking, a regular pattern like subway station tile, like a pulse between my ears.

Jennifer Gennari – Muffled, 2020

They lost their sense of reality, the notion of time, the rhythm of daily habits.

Gabriel García Márquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude, 1967

The cricket was such a natural musician that he not only chirped the tune—in a few minutes he was making up variations and spinning them out without ever losing the rhythm of the waltz.

George Selden – The Cricket in Times Square, 1960

Written by

She is a translator and EFL teacher with an MA in English studies, who dabbles in writing, subtitling and academic proofreading. When not pondering the complexities of linguistic correctness, she enjoys DIY, cycling and playing any type of guitar she can lay her hands on.