A verse form in which a couplet, triplet, or stanza is followed by a single additional, usually shorter, line, either unrhymed or rhyming with another such line occurring further on in the poem.
Sometimes used more specifically with reference to a six-line stanza rhyming aabccb.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Robert Mannyng (d. c1338), poet and historian. Apparently either from an unattested Anglo-Norman or Middle French phrase *rime couée, or formed in English from Anglo-Norman and Middle French rime rhyme + Anglo-Norman and Middle French couée, feminine of coué tailed (from coue + -é), apparently after post-classical Latin rithmus caudatus. Compare French rime couée.