verb (used without object), al·lit·er·at·ed, al·lit·er·at·ing.

to show alliteration: In “Round and round the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran,” the “r” alliterates.
to use alliteration: Swinburne often alliterates.

verb (used with object), al·lit·er·at·ed, al·lit·er·at·ing.

to compose or arrange with alliteration: He alliterates the “w's” in that line.

Origin of alliterate

First recorded in 1810–20; back formation from alliteration
Related formsal·lit·er·a·tor, nounnon·al·lit·er·at·ed, adjectiveun·al·lit·er·at·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for alliterate

Historical Examples of alliterate

  • Members of the families in Beowulf which we have reason to think historic bear names which alliterate the one with the other.


    R. W. Chambers

British Dictionary definitions for alliterate



to contain or cause to contain alliteration
(intr) to speak or write using alliteration
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for alliterate

"to use alliteration," 1776 (implied in alliterated), back-formation from alliteration, on analogy of obliterate. Related: Alliterating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper