alliteration

[uh-lit-uh-rey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for alliteration on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. 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).
  2. 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. 2018


Examples from the Web for alliteration

Contemporary Examples of alliteration

Historical Examples of alliteration

  • Nikita, surnamed Necator, with a sinister aptness of alliteration!

    Under Western Eyes

    Joseph Conrad

  • The "Cape to Cairo" railroad is another case of alliteration.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • Alliteration and rhyme together will, I am afraid, be too much for me.

    Lavengro

    George Borrow

  • The alliteration is without complexity,--a dreary procession of sibilants.

    Milton

    Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

  • Consonance is very similar to this latter form of alliteration.


British Dictionary definitions for alliteration

alliteration

noun
  1. 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 Formsalliterative, 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

Word Origin and History for alliteration
n.

1650s, "a begining with the same letter," from Modern Latin alliterationem (nominative alliteratio), noun of action from past participle stem of alliterare "to begin with the same letter," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + littera (also litera) "letter, script" (see letter). Formed on model of obliteration, etc. Related: Alliterational.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

alliteration in Culture

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.