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From New Latin allīterātiō, from allīterātus, from allīterō, from Latin ad (to, towards, near) and lītera (a letter).


  • (US) IPA(key): /əˌlɪtəˈɹeɪʃən/, [əˌlɪɾəˈɹeɪʃən]
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃən
  • (file)


Examples (repetition of initial consonants)
  • Behemoth, biggest born of earth, upheaved His vastness. (Milton)
  • Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields. (Alfred Tennyson)
Examples (repetition of consonants in accented word parts)
  • In a somer seson whan soft was the sonne, I shope me in shroudes as I a shepe were. (Piers Plowman)

alliteration (countable and uncountable, plural alliterations)

  1. The repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of two or more words immediately succeeding each other, or at short intervals.
    • 2018 March 20, “Fish fury flares over Brussels Brexit deal”, in ITV[1]:
      So fish fury all round, as there has been in the past. And as an aside, that alliteration was, sadly, not mine that of a former political correspondent of the Daily Record, John Deans, and applied to the 'cod wars' with Iceland.
  2. The recurrence of the same letter in accented parts of words, as in Anglo-Saxon alliterative meter.

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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “alliteration”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)