“Rhyme, also, rime: A general and literary term for the effect produced by using similar sounds: in the last stressed vowel (fire/lyre/desire/aspire) and in following vowels and consonants (inspiring/retiring; admiringly/conspiringly). Rhyme has been a major feature of English verse since the early medieval period, and is widely regarded as essential to it, although a great deal of verse is unrhymed.”
Excerpted from: McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.