alliteration

[ uh-lit-uh-rey-shuh n ]
/ əˌlɪt əˈreɪ ʃən /

noun

the commencement of two or more stressed syllables of a word group either with the same consonant sound or sound group (consonantal alliteration), as in from stem to stern, or with a vowel sound that may differ from syllable to syllable (vocalic alliteration), as in each to all.Compare consonance(def 4a).
the commencement of two or more words of a word group with the same letter, as in apt alliteration's artful aid.

Origin of alliteration

1650–60; < Medieval Latin alliterātiōn-, stem of alliterātiō, equivalent to al- al- + literātiō, modeled after obliterātiō obliteration but intended to convey a derivative of littera letter
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for alliteration

British Dictionary definitions for alliteration

alliteration

/ (əˌlɪtəˈreɪʃən) /

noun

the use of the same consonant (consonantal alliteration) or of a vowel, not necessarily the same vowel (vocalic alliteration), at the beginning of each word or each stressed syllable in a line of verse, as in around the rock the ragged rascal ran

Derived Forms

alliterative, adjective

Word Origin for alliteration

C17: from Medieval Latin alliterātiō (from Latin al- (see ad-) + litera letter), on the model of obliterātiō obliteration
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

Culture definitions for alliteration

alliteration

[ (uh-lit-uh-ray-shuhn) ]

The repetition of the beginning sounds of words, as in “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,” “long-lived,” “short shrift,” and “the fickle finger of fate.”


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.