|1.||a. the arrangement of the relative durations of and accents on the notes of a melody, usually laid out into regular groups (bars) of beats, the first beat of each bar carrying the stress|
|b. any specific arrangement of such groupings; time: quadruple rhythm|
|a. the arrangement of words into a more or less regular sequence of stressed and unstressed or long and short syllables|
|b. any specific such arrangement; metre|
|3.||(in painting, sculpture, architecture, etc) a harmonious sequence or pattern of masses alternating with voids, of light alternating with shade, of alternating colours, etc|
|4.||any sequence of regularly recurring functions or events, such as the regular recurrence of certain physiological functions of the body, as the cardiac rhythm of the heartbeat|
|[C16: from Latin rhythmus, from Greek rhuthmos; related to rhein to flow]|
movement or variation characterized by the regular recurrence or alternation of different quantities or conditions, as in the heartbeat.