[ uh-lit-uh-reyt ]

verb (used without object),al·lit·er·at·ed, al·lit·er·at·ing.
  1. to show alliteration: In “Round and round the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran,” the “r” alliterates.

  2. to use alliteration: Swinburne often alliterates.

verb (used with object),al·lit·er·at·ed, al·lit·er·at·ing.
  1. 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

Other words from alliterate

  • al·lit·er·a·tor, noun
  • non·al·lit·er·at·ed, adjective
  • un·al·lit·er·at·ed, adjective

Words Nearby alliterate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use alliterate in a sentence

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

    Beowulf | R. W. Chambers
  • Note, that not only do the names alliterate, but the alliteration is perfect.

    Beowulf | R. W. Chambers
  • All consonants alliterate with themselves, though usually sh, sp, and st agree only with the same combination.

British Dictionary definitions for alliterate


/ (əˈlɪtəˌreɪt) /

  1. to contain or cause to contain alliteration

  2. (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