How to Find Rhyming Words for Poetry

Rhyming becomes easier with practice, especially if you know a few ways to get inspiration. Don't be afraid to rewrite the whole stanza if the rhyme isn't working out. You can even drop the rhyming scheme completely, as a poem doesn't have to rhyme at all.


  1. Image titled Find Rhyming Words for Poetry Step 1
    Write down as many rhymes as you can in two minutes. When you need a rhyme for a particular word, stop thinking about the poem for a moment. Set a timer for a couple minutes and write down as many rhymes for that word as you can. Repeat this exercise often to sharpen your rhyming sense.
  2. Image titled Find Rhyming Words for Poetry Step 2
    Go through the whole alphabet. Take the sound you need a rhyme for and put a "b" at the beginning, then a "c," and so on for all the consonants of the alphabet. This is another exercise that will help you become more familiar with rhymes, although this usually only leads to short words.
    • For example, the word "scholar" rhymes with "baller," "collar," "dollar," etc.
    • Saying the new words aloud may help you find rhymes with different spellings.
  3. Image titled Find Rhyming Words for Poetry Step 3
    Stretch the rhyme. Most poets emphasize flow and tone more than perfect rhymes, if their poems rhyme at all. Explore "near rhyme" pairs that have similar but not identical sounds.
    • For example, pair mine/mind, green/fiend, or one/thumb. Each of these pairs uses the same vowel sound, and ends with similar consonants.
  4. Image titled Find Rhyming Words for Poetry Step 4
    Refer to a rhyming dictionary. Online or physical rhyming dictionaries provide lists of rhyming words to give you ideas. One of the most popular online English rhyming dictionaries is Rhyme Zone.
    • Flipping through a thesaurus or dictionary can give you ideas, but it's tougher to look up a specific rhyme.
  5. Image titled Find Rhyming Words for Poetry Step 5
    Find alternate words with more natural rhymes. If the rhyme sounds forced, rewrite the first rhyming line with synonyms or related words. An easier rhyme lets you guide the poem based on feel and topic, instead of twisting it to fit the rhyme.
    • For example, let's say you're writing a poem about a parrot captured as a pet. Struggling with rhymes for "parrot," you write a first draft all about ferrets and carrots, which doesn't strike the tone you're looking for. You could try again with "bird," "cockatoo," "macaw," or — as Alice Hepple chose in the following poem — "African Grey:"

African Grey Sharp eye, beak, claw I wonder at the time before In the forest where you'd play Did you foresee the cage, you're in today

  1. Image titled Find Rhyming Words for Poetry Step 6
    Reword the line. This is similar to the last tactic, but involves rearranging the sentence instead of changing the final word. For example, instead of trying to rhyme with "purple," rewrite the line to end with "a purple cast," "purple-bright," or "purple shade."


  • End with a strong final line. If you come up with the perfect ending, it may be worth rewriting the rest of the stanza to fit the rhyming scheme.
  • Try playing with internal rhymes, which show up in the middle of a line. With the right cadence, you can even rhyme syllables in the middle of words, such as bored with unaffordable.

Article Info

Categories: English | Poetry